Family fun: Inland Northwest Opera brings “Little Red Riding Hood” to Riverfront Park


Inland Northwest Opera takes Little Red Riding Hood to eastern Washington and northern Idaho with classic characters and story, but with a few twists and turns.

As the tale suggests, the wolf likes the idea of ​​eating things, but his stomach is so sensitive that even if you only talk about food, his stomach starts to ache.

It’s more of a story about him “really trying be the big bad wolf, but he can’t be a big, a bad or a big wolf, ”said Dawn Wolski, Executive and Artistic Director of Inland Northwest Opera.

The classic children’s story is presented in opera form, which Wolski describes as “just very good stories sung to very loud music”.

Inland Northwest Opera’s presentation of “Little Red Riding Hood: A Children’s Opera” consists of a cast of three local professionals known as emerging artists in the industry, according to Wolski. They are:

• Le Petit Chaperon Rouge – Karen Hunt, Founder, General and Artistic Director of Ensemble Valkyrie.

• Mother / Grandmother – Samantha Schneider, owner of the Creative Music Learning Center, a local music school.

• Wolf / Woodsman – Mickey Zhang, a recent graduate of Gonzaga School of Music.

And behind the cast is a set of experienced directors:

• Music Director / Pianist – Scott Rednour, Opera Coach at the Manhattan School of Music for 25 years.

• Director – Maria Caprile, longtime director with many companies now living in Spokane.

“We’re really proud to have people in our area who are professionals,” Wolski said. The team rehearsed intensely last week and they are more than excited to perform on such a unique stage.

Last spring, the Inland Northwest Opera received a grant from the Coeur d’Alene Arts Commission to purchase a 16-foot box van, and with the help of manufacturers, they were able to “completely transform the box from this. moving truck into a real moving truck. concert hall, ”Wolski said.

Once parked, the stage descends to show a beautiful room that once looked like a box truck.

“This way we can do our performances in public places, like in parks, to protect our children from any public health issues that may arise,” said Melody Chang, director of marketing for Inland Northwest Opera. “It’s just a wonderful way to bring opera to everyone.

“Usually, during the years without a pandemic, we are able to bring this type of program to individual schools and play directly in the schools,” Wolski said. “But through the pandemic, giving us this chance to build an opera truck, it really opened up our educational outreach program called ‘Opera-tunities’.

“It just gave us this whole new place to share opera with people who don’t normally have the opportunity to experience it, and these kids really, really love the stories that we present. I’m just excited to share with more people.

The opera truck debuted with the new production on Friday at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, and it will be at Riverfront Park today, Spirit Lake Tuesday, Pinehurst Wednesday, Hayden Thursday, AM Cannon Park Friday and Liberty Lake Saturday. .

“If you’ve always wanted to hear opera, now is your chance,” Wolski said. “We are there and we bring the opera to everyone. And if you don’t get the chance to hear opera this summer, it certainly won’t be our fault.

Jordan Tolley-Turner is a high school summer intern. He is starting his freshman year at Shadle Park High School in the fall.


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