AT&T The Bridge’s Generation Next with Layla Felder | AT&T

♫ “Habanera” underneath voice-over ♫ I think that when I first really fell in love with the opera was when I was probably about two years old. I was watching Sesame Street, and Denise Graves came on. She was singing the “Habanera” from Carmen, which is probably her most famous aria. And I remember I asked my mom to play it over and over again. She took note of that and started showing me difference scenes from the Amadeus movie. So then she got me The Magic Flute DVD, and here we are 10 years later. “This is my first ever opera scrapbook. Man, my handwriting was bad.” For someone who hasn’t seen an opera before, if you’ve got an interest, you need to go in with an open mind. So maybe if a parent was sick, or a dog was sick, or you had lots of homework, or you were stressed about a test. For me, if I would watch opera, all of that would become irrelevant. And it would just be me and the stage. And it’s just a way to forget, and to relax, and to enjoy, and to listen, and to see. I think it’s just really beautiful. “This goes to the very first opera we ever did was when I was in third grade. Here’s a little article about my club in the Playbill, right here. This is me and my first group of club members.” So I have this website called It stands for Kids Opera & Art Posse. My mission is to bring more kids into opera. We’ve sent 100,000 public school kids across the United States to the opera. On the website, there are a couple of different categories. There’s live opera, opera art, opera trips, museum. It started just as documentation, and then later it became a calendar for all the stuff that we did. But now we have it sort of as a way to virtually be at the opera, or be at the museum. When I was four, I realized that everyone in the movie theaters when we go see the opera was 60 and over. It was me, my mom and probably three other people that were under the age of 60. And with that said, I realized that if more people, more young people didn’t get into opera, opera would literally die. I’m starting to see younger people in the audiences of the operas – breaking up the stuffy old rich people. And it’s really great to see, because then other people they’ll see that all walks of life can go to the opera. And that it’s not just for the stuffy elite class. ♫ “Habanera” from Carmen ♫ Opera was like pop music in the 1800s. Now pop music has sort of, in a way, replaced opera. I don’t want to replace pop music; I just want to bring opera up to the attention of others, so that it can become popular again, it can be for everyone again. ♫ “Habanera” from Carmen ♫ Opera is my life and I cannot live without it. ♫ “Habanera” from Carmen ♫ ♫ sonic logo ♫

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