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Summary Page: Opera - put on a show!
Term 3 starting 21 July 2015.



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Free online PD for teachers about this field trip has been run - Details and access the recording.

Here's a special opportunity to experience the build up to a performance of the world-famous opera, Madama Butterfly. Your class will love the excitement and intrigue of being part of this New Zealand Opera production!

Opera is a complex arts production which demands a professional level of event management. Many people are involved in planning, designing and rehearsing to achieve a quality result. This opera virtual field trip is an opportunity to showcase how an exquisite production can be brought to fruition to wow its audience, with sumptuous costuming, international performers and stunning sets.

Puccini's opera, Madama Butterfly, is a love story between a Japanese geisha and her naval officer as Japan opens up to the West and the 20th Century. This is a New Zealand Opera production accompanied by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • The history of opera
  • Famous operas
  • Famous opera singers
  • Roles and careers in opera
  • Opera as an artistic production
  • NZO - New Zealand Opera
  • Madama Butterfly

During this field trip you will:

  • Go to the opening night performance and experience selected parts of Madama Butterfly
  • Gain a sense of anticipation from people in the foyer on opening night
  • Admire the venue; the recently restored Isaac Theatre Royal that was damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes
  • Join students and sponsors at the theatre and experience selected parts of a dress rehearsal
  • Go backstage
  • Meet the costuming and makeup experts
  • Meet a member of the crew
  • Meet New Zealand opera singers brought back from overseas
  • Watch and listen as professional opera singers warm up and perform
  • Attempt an exercise an opera performer gives you
  • Meet an opera Director and find out about their work
  • Follow an Emerging Artist at New Zealand Opera
  • Catch up with CSO musicians from previous LEARNZ field trips
  • Find out about the New Zealand Opera's place in our country's culture

After the field trip, challenge yourself to:

  • Go to an opera or experience another live performance
  • Add some music to your collection that broadens your musical tastes
  • Join a singing group like a choir, get a singing lesson or form a "Glee" club
  • Interview someone who goes to opera and find why they like it
  • Explore NZ Opera's website, Facebook page and YouTube channel
  • Research one of the singers from this cast and find out about their other performances
  • Put on your own stage production

Where you will go

Fly to Christchurch and go into the centre of the city to experience the build-up to the opening night of Madama Butterfly. This famous opera comes to Christchurch to mark the stunning refurbishment of the Isaac Theatre Royal after the Christchurch earthquakes. This is a quality heritage arts building hosting a quality opera production.

Teacher comments about previous LEARNZ field trips

"Excellent self paced real world learning. Great to have multimedia resources students could relate to." Kevin Mellon from Sommerville School

"Best when you build an inquiry unit around the Field Trip. Being able to ask (live) questions using Back Channel was particularly useful during audioconferences." Rachel O'Connell from Lawrence Area School

Go to more comments from teachers about previous LEARNZ field trips

Learning Areas/Levels

The Arts: Music - Sound Arts Levels 2-8, Visual Arts Levels 2-8, Drama Levels 2-8

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are live tweets on twitter, and daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences via Adobe Connect enable teachers to managed students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View teacher comments in testimonials and in the LEARNZ Group on the VLN. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

    Not Registered with LEARNZ? Are you a New Zealand Registered or Provisionally-Registered Teacher? Register free with LEARNZ Now.

    Already Registered with LEARNZ and activated your account? Log in to your personal MyLEARNZ Control Panel and then enrol your classes at no cost in field trips. Note: Enrolment is only needed for the current and future year's field trips.

    Registered but need help? Check your email for activation instructions - contact us if the message did not make it to your email inbox. Log on to MyLEARNZ. Go to Getting Started.

    Teachers - Lost your password? Recover it here.

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Introductory video for this field trip: Watch, embed or share on Vimeo or click below to watch here.



PLD about this field trip? Go to Webinar Schedule and Recordings.

New to LEARNZ? Go to Getting Started.

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Andrew the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Andrew, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: acting, behind the scenes, Canterbury, choreography, chronological development, conducting, contemporary music, costuming, front of house, life of an opera singer, lighting, Madama Butterfly, marketing, New Zealand Opera, opera, publicity, putting on an opera, scenery, singing, stage management, staging, theatre

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