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UC Merced Children’s Opera available for all Central Valley children

A scene from ‘Baobob’ from the UC Merced Children's Opera in 2019.
A scene from ‘Baobob’ from the UC Merced Children’s Opera in 2019.

This year UC Merced is bringing the Children’s Opera to students and families across the Central Valley.

Through a virtual format, children ages 3 and older can have a unique cultural experience without leaving the comfort their homes or classrooms.

Each year UC Merced Children’s Opera produces a high-energy, 45-minute-long performance that features classical music coupled with an engaging story. This year, “Save the Dragons,” demonstrates how to be a good leader while revealing the interconnectedness of the world we live in. Through “Save the Dragons,” students will better understand why saving plants and animals is important to everyone.

The opera follows the queen and king of a magical kingdom who have a problem – A dragon problem. Their dragons are disappearing! Their daughter tries to educate them as to the scarcity of the dragons’ food as the main cause of their disappearance to no avail.

Throughout this interactive production, the audience is invited to join the family as they try to get to the bottom of the issue through investigating various characters and causes.

“We have an incredible team of professional actors, UC Merced students and community members coming together to bring this story to life,” said Director Jenni Samuelson. “In addition, be on the lookout for flying drones costumed as doodle-birds and buzzer-bees, as well as dozens of Merced County schoolchildren featured in special cameo appearances.”

Grade appropriate curriculum will be available for grades TK-3rd to prepare children for the production, including operatic vocabulary, musical snippets, art project ideas and writing prompts. This year’s Opera will be filmed throughout the UC Merced campus which will allow students to participate in a virtual scavenger hunt!

Educators and families are welcome to sign-up for the UC Merced Children’s Opera at no cost.

For more information or to register for the May 2021 performance please visit the UC Merced Arts website. Those interested can use this link:

This year’s production is graciously sponsored by Merced County Office of Education, Merced County Education Foundation, the Betty Scalice Foundation and UC Merced Arts and the UC Merced Global Arts, Media and Writing Studies Department.

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