Teaching Artist in classroom interacting with students
Teaching Artist in classroom interacting with students
performers in classroom doing opera
Opera Tots!

Grade Level: PreK – 3rd Grade
4 in-classroom sessions
1 per week for four consecutive weeks

Session Length: 40-45 minutes


*It is preferable that schools schedule workshops to be held in a large area (gym, cafeteria, auditorium) 


*Virtual Content is available through our Educator Portal.

“An opera is a story and all the words are sung!”

This little song is an anchor of our program Opera Tots! where we create opportunities for children, teachers, parents and caregivers to explore opera; using its great singing and storytelling features to attain tools for learning. The Opera Tots! program invites pre-K to 3rd grade children to actively participate in learning new vocabulary, melodies, dances, rhythms, characters, and story elements based on the season’s featured operatic story.

Residency Workshops: This residency includes four 40-45 minute classroom workshops with our Resident Teaching Artists and classrooms will have access to video productions taking children on a journey through the opera story with singing, dancing and dramatic play. All workshops reinforce school-readiness skills in alignment with PA Early Learning Standards, including retelling story events, development of vocabulary, and social/emotional interaction.

Engaging the Whole Family: Each child receives take-home materials we produce that encourages exploration of the workshops at home. Children are encouraged to teach their parents and caregivers songs and dances from the opera.

Summer Performances: Teachers and families will receive details of our summer Opera in the Neighborhood Productions taking place at the New Hazlett and Schenley Park Tent.


The cost varies per school based on number of classrooms and number of children.


  • $300 + $50 per classroom
  • Classroom materials & activity videos available through Educator Portal


  • $100 + $25 per classroom
  • Classroom materials & activity videos available through Educator Portal
★ This program is provided at NO COST for Pittsburgh Public Schools.
  • Develop new tools for learning in young children by using elements of singing, music, dance and dramatic play.
  • Promote early literacy, comprehension and conversation by focusing on new vocabulary words and meanings.
  • Support teachers in expanding the role of art and creativity in their academic curriculum and goals for students
  • Create pathways that encourage families to bolster the tools their children are learning in the classroom with activities and conversations woven into everyday routines.
Time Commitments
  • Teachers will work with a Teaching Artist to determine workshop/meeting dates and times that best align with school calendar, classroom schedule, curricular goals and the teaching artists availability.
  • All participating teachers are required to attend a 30-minute training and information session prior to classroom residencies, and a follow-up 30-minute session proceeding the final workshop. During these session, teachers become familiar with the company, Teaching Artist, program goals and curriculum. Teachers will also receive a packet of extension activities to build on the content between classroom visits as well as evaluation forms of the residency experience.
  • Each classroom workshop requires a maximum of 45 minutes of class time (less for toddler classes).
  • We prefer to have multiple classes within a school participate and that workshops be scheduled “back to back” if possible (e.g., Class A at 10am, Class B at 10:45am, etc.)
  • After the 4 workshops, we offer a performance of our featured operatic story by local professionals. We will need access to a larger space that can accommodate the combined classrooms (e.g., auditorium, gym, cafeteria.)
Partnership Commitments
  • School assigns one staff member or teacher to serve as point of contact for all participating classes and teachers. This person will be responsible for communicating schedule changes, distribute materials to classrooms, distribute evaluation forms, and provide feedback on the program.
  • Teachers approach sessions as an active, engaged participant and maintain classroom discipline.
  • Teachers communicate with the teaching artists regarding lesson plans, student progress or challenges, etc.
  • Teachers distribute all necessary materials for the program (provided by PFO Teaching Artist) including: workshop take home sheets, parent/caregiver feedback cards, and activity kits, fliers, etc.
  • Teacher & teaching artist collaborate to tailor the program to address desired curriculum goals and special needs of the classroom.
  • Pittsburgh Festival Opera provides ongoing support for classroom teachers and Teaching Artists in all aspects of the partnership.
  • Pittsburgh Festival Opera provides all materials and training for classroom teachers and teaching artists to successfully complete the program.

Applicants need the following information to complete the online application:

  • School, teacher and arts liaison contact information
  • Principal contact information and consent to apply
  • Number of eligible classrooms and approximate number of children per class
  • Suggested timeframe for when it may be best to implement the program

Student & Parent Portal

Educator Portal

Teaching Artist Portal

To request portal access, additional questions or support please contact:

Alexandria Zallo
Director of Education