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Local opera singers visit Oxnard elementary school to promote the arts

Local opera singers paid a visit to an elementary school in Oxnard Tuesday. For many students it was their first time seeing an opera performance in person.

Third graders at Driffill Elementary School in Oxnard were in complete awe of Tuesday’s performance.

A few members of the Hillcrest Center for the Arts in Thousand Oaks performed songs from their production of Ruddigore.

“We have been learning about opera for the past month, and we have been learning the songs from Ruddigore, and I am on a mission to keep opera alive in the classroom,” said Kim Dufau.

Dufau is the third grade teacher at Driffill elementary, and the one responsible for giving these students an experience they might have not ever had.

“We haven’t been exposed to opera, so I thought that this year it would be a good idea to introduce opera to them,” said Dufau. “They can get another layer of the arts, and I think it is important for all people to get exposed to the opera.”

The actors also took some time to chat with the kids about theater, auditioning, and costumes.

“It is always nice to promote the show, but it’s especially nice to promote the arts for children,” said Rebecca Pillsbury, executive Director at Ventura County Gilbert & Sullivan Repertoire Company. “It is especially important for kids, because so much of the arts have been taken out of the schools.”

Mrs. Dufau is not only a teacher, but she is also in the production, which has the students even more interested.

“We sing everyday,” said Dufau. “I have been teaching them to sing, so we are really working on how using music to make our lives better.”

“It was great,” said Ruben Garcia, who is a third grader at Driffill. “I love the songs, and mostly everything about it.”


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