By Belle Crawford
The Asheville Jewish Community Center (JCC) and the YMCA of Western North Carolina have partnered to bring an operatic production of The Three Little Pigs to Asheville on Monday, April 15, at 2 p.m. in the newly renovated JCC social hall.
FBN Productions, Inc. is an opera company for children based in Columbia, SC. The company brings together young professional opera singers and operas written with young audiences in mind. Ellen Schlaefer, director of Opera Studies for the University of South Carolina School of Music and FBN Productions, Inc. director and founder, started the company in 1994 to promote music-drama as a synthesis of all disciplines of the human experience.
“I wanted to bring opera to my community and build a bridge between student performers and the professional world,” she says. “At the time of FBN’s conception, there was no other opera company in SC other than Spoleto.”
FBN’s rendition of The Three Little Pigs tells the story of brother pigs Don Giovanni and Cherubino, who set off to make homes of sticks and straw, while their sister Despina goes to the library to read up on “huffproof, puff-proof” home construction. After Wolfgang Bigbad blows down the boys’ flimsy homes, they run to their sister’s sturdy brick house ready to admit that reading books is a pretty smart thing to do after all.
Since 1994, FBN has shared the joys of live opera with more than 300,000 young people. “Opera is such a wonderful art form, one where visual art, music and theater come together,” says Schlaefer. “Witnessing the communication between audience and performers during a show is truly magical.” The production of The Three Little Pigs is open to the community.