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Opera Kids is a documentary that follows a fifth grade class on their yearlong journey creating an original “opera.”
Opera Kids is a documentary that follows a fifth grade class on their yearlong journey creating an original “opera.”
427 backers pledged $33,412 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

OPERA KIDS goes to NEWARK, chapter two

Dear Friends of Opera Kids, Family, and Supporters,

Since our last big update in March, we successfully brought Creating Original Opera back to Newark, NJ (and at no cost to the school or any of the children)!

Together with two former Newark Opera Kids (now adults) - Khalilah Williams-Green and Ziara Albritton - we created an after-school Arts Program at BRICK Avon Academy and met with a group of nearly thirty 5th-graders every Tuesday and Friday from the beginning of March to the end of June.

While we had been pure observers and documentarians of our first class of Opera Kids in Englewood, NJ, we became full-on participants of this process in Newark - teaching and facilitating these kids' artistic process - from warmups and theme brainstorm discussions to a completely staged musical production.

Please click into this link HERE for a little video teaser of our time in Newark. In this clip, you'll hear two of the kids' five songs ("I Warned You" & "Shine") from their original opera called "Don't Judge a Book by its Cover."

As we inch closer to the one-year anniversary of our successful Kickstarter Campaign, we've now shot double the footage we had, and it is our hope that our final film will encompass both the Englewood and Newark Opera Kids' experiences, therefore exploring the impact of the arts in these two very different schools only 30 minutes away from each other.

To the edit room for the Fall!

As always, should you have any questions or wish to help us in our Opera Kids mission, please comment here or write us an email at

We believe that what had started as an entertaining snapshot of 10-year-olds at collaborative creativity has now also become a substantive commentary on the arts in varying dimensions of our world. It should be well worth the wait. Once more, thank you for believing in this film, in us, and also for your patience.

Max, Joe, John and the Opera Kids Team

*A special shout-out to team members Jared Oliff-Lieberman on his work preparing this Update Video, Julian Torres Barbosa and Jennifer McCabe on their beautiful photography as well as Diane Englander Peyser for her stills shown here. See the complete listing of the Opera Kids Team HERE.

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"Opera Kids" Project Expands

Dear Opera Kids Friends, Family, and Supporters,

Six months ago you generously contributed to our film and helped us reach our Kickstarter goal. We thought it was time to give you an update on our progress.

We have been reviewing the hundreds of hours of footage captured during our year-long shoot, and editing the film as we go, steadily piecing the narrative together. And the growth of our project's scope has been a surprise even to us. We were curious to find out what impact, if any, an arts program such as Creating Original Opera had had over the years and so we decided to interview adults who had created original operas in their respective private and public schools as children. That people in their 20s and 30s recalled nearly every note and syllable they had written so many years ago gave us our first clue. We were particularly struck by the profound effect the program seemed to have had on students from Newark, NJ. Each person with whom we spoke pinpointed Creating Original Opera as the pivotal school experience, which they unanimously credited (along with its remarkable facilitator, Anita Bland) for their personal, educational, and professional aspirations and successes.

See this link HERE for a 10-minute clip of some of these students’ stories.

Alas, this program (like so many other arts programs throughout the country) no longer exists in Newark. Accordingly, we met with Newark public school authorities to enlist their cooperation. Beginning this month, together with several of these opera alumni, we will be offering Creating Original Opera to a group of 5th to 8th graders at Avon Academy in Newark at no cost to them or the school.

It is our goal a) to bring this program back to Newark, re-planting the seed for its continuance in future years; and b) to film the process of former Original Opera students guiding a new group of inner-city school kids to conceive of and produce an opera of their own. Although we don’t  know yet exactly where our documentary will take us, we are excited by the potential of a film that could explore the impact of the arts and more generally project-based learning on children in these two very different schools.

Should you have any questions or wish to help us in our expanded Opera Kids mission, please comment here or write us an email at We'd love to hear from you!

We will keep you updated and thank you once more for giving this project life.

Max, Joe, John, Henry and the Opera Kids Team

Opera Kids Movie Website

60.46 Productions Website

Thank You! / Future Updates

Dear Opera Kids Friends, Family, and Supporters,

Just one week ago, you helped us surpass our Kickstarter goal of 30k! Your extremely generous pledges totaled $33,412.00!

We've updated our 60.46 Productions website to include a list of our angels, patrons, and friends - ALL of the folks who have pledged $10 or more to Opera Kids throughout the campaign. Once more, thank you.

Please note: We hear from several supporters that their credit cards were not charged by Kickstarter/Amazon. Should you find this also to be the case and still wish to contribute to Opera Kids, you can still do so directly through our production company's website HERE.

Lastly, we'd really like to keep you updated on our post-production progress over the course of the next few months. If you haven't done so already, please "Like" our Opera Kids Facebook Page as well as our newly launched 60.46 Productions Facebook Page. This way, you'll receive all the latest information about Opera Kids and our other exciting projects in the works!

Looking forward to being in touch in the fall,

Max, Joe, Henry, John, and the Opera Kids Team

Opera Kids on Facebook

60.46 Productions on Facebook

Opera Kids is COMING

Dear Opera Kids Friends, Family, and Supporters,

We awoke this morning to find we had surpassed our goal! We can't tell you how inspiring and wonderful this feels. All the incredibly generous support we've gotten -- from people we've never met, from teachers and students who believe in the arts, from movie buffs, from friends and friends of friends -- is a reminder to us how blessed we are to have a community of people like you. 

There will be much more to come for sure, but for now we just want to THANK YOU for the tremendous love and encouragement we've received. We cannot believe we're here, and it's all due to you.  

We look forward to bringing you a wonderful, warm, and challenging film. In the meantime, we want to keep the momentum going! We still have 34 hours until our Kickstarter campaign is over! Please keep spreading the word. Any more donations we receive will allow us to do even more with our completed film (such as bringing on board a high profile arts education advocate/actor to narrate the movie). We're not done yet!

Much love and gratitude to everyone. We are so honored and humbled to have achieved this goal with you.

Joe, Max, Henry, John, and the Opera Kids Team


Film Courage Article



Opera Kids Clip One

Opera Kids Clip Two

Opera Kids Clip Three

Those Joining the Adventure...

Dear Opera Kids Friends, Family, and Supporters!

We've had an amazing day today as we move closer to our finish line, with over 100 new backers joining the Opera Kids adventure within the last 24 hours! 

To our 106 new backers: We are so grateful and overjoyed you have joined our Kickstarter family. It's beyond humbling and thrilling for our team to have such support. 

To ALL of our backers, friends, supporters, and people we've met through this campaign: Opera Kids is so close to becoming a reality because of you. As we near the finish line, please continue to spread our Kickstarter link to anyone and everyone you think may be interested in supporting Opera Kids and our fight for arts education.

We've still got a ways to go in meeting our goal, but today was proof that it's more than possible. So, let's team up and do this together! 70 hours remain. 5.5k to raise.

Who's ready?

With love and serious gratitude,

PS. Below are links to our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages as well as an article we wrote about "Opera Kids," recently published in the online filmmaking magazine "Film Courage"!

Film Courage Article
Opera Kids Clip One
Opera Kids Clip Two
Opera Kids Clip Three