Arts and Entertainment

The gift of opera, for kids young and old

Jennifer Krikawa, Holly Boaz and Andrew Krikawa star in a free performance of ‘Red Riding Hood.’ - Courtesy photo
Jennifer Krikawa, Holly Boaz and Andrew Krikawa star in a free performance of ‘Red Riding Hood.’
— image credit: Courtesy photo

In what organizers are calling a gift to the Island’s children and families, Vashon Opera will present a free performance of “Little Red Riding Hood” on Saturday, a sweetened version of the tale delivered in full operatic style.

Vashon Opera’s artistic director Jennifer Krikawa will appear in the title role, joined by Andrew Krikawa as the wolf and woodsman, and Holly Boaz as the mother and grandmother.

No tickets will be necessary to attend the production, a children’s opera in one act by Seymour Barab, brought to the Island courtesy of Vashon Opera and Vashon Park District.

Jennifer Krikawa described the 35-minute opera as an “adorable comedy” for children, with a story that turns the tale’s scary four-legged villian into a lovable wolf who hates sweets.

“Your children will be engaged in the funny story, but at the same time they will be hearing classically trained voices singing in the operatic style,” Krikawa said. “It is the perfect introduction for children to the art form of opera.”

Krikawa said she was especially excited to include Islander Holly Boaz in the cast.

Boaz, an accomplished soprano, has appeared in recent seasons with the Seattle Symphony, Aldeburgh Festival, Hartford Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Connecticut Opera, Tacoma Opera, The Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle, the Bellevue Philharmonic and Opera Quad Cities.

She is currently on the faculty of the voice department at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and maintains a private voice studio on Vashon, where she teaches students aged 12 and older.

Boaz, who is friends with the Krikawas, said she’s enjoyed working with them immensely.

“It’s always really fun to perform with friends ... You get to a place where things gel sooner,” she said.

The show, too, is a delight. “The piece itself is full of character and some caricature,” she said. “And it’s really well-written, with children in mind. It’s fun for us as performers to go farther than we might otherwise go.”

The free performance of “Little Red Riding Hood” will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, in Chautauqua Elementary School’s multi-purpose room.

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