When Mishy was born, my sister brought this toy from Holland. From that day onwards, we have played with Moo Cow – Mishy named it that. It is one of her favorite toys and she rides it everyday in the house – taking it with her to take a bath – Moo Cow waits by the tub, to sleep – she waits by the bed, and even on car rides when Mishy wants some extra comfort. As soon as she could, she started riding on it. At first, we rode on it while she laughed and then she sat on it while we pushed her, but once her feet touched the ground, she went fast! There have been times when other children were over and it was hard for Mishy to let others take a turn on Moo Cow so she asked us to let the parents know, which we did. There have been other times when it was perfectly fine for her to let other children play the whole time they have been over and as a parent, yes, I was happy to see my daughter share her toys – when I know sharing is very hard to do at any age. (I never ask her to share. I do sometimes request if she can take turns, and there is usually a positive response but when there isn’t one, it’s fine because truth be told, sometimes I don’t want to take turns with my things either.)

Now that Mishy is approaching her third birthday, I don’t know how much longer she will be riding Moo Cow – though I’m sure she will always have a place in our home. Yes, we have a balance bike and scooter and roller skates and now a tricycle for Mishy  – she asked for one for her birthday and it came early – but the lure of Moo Cow is still very strong. Tonight, after I assembled the new tricycle, Mishy rode Moo Cow and here are the photos:

Side view of Moo Cow which catches Babba eating his nighttime snack of cereal.

Mishy watching the "waterfall" outside the Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine

Mishy and I went to see L.A. Opera’s production of Who Wants To Be An Opera Singer by Mark Saltzman. This performance was at Pepperdine Performing Arts Center in their Smothers Theatre. We received tickets through their Arts Education program which offers tickets to under privileged schools in the Los Angeles area. Once local schools have responded for ticket requests, remaining tickets are given to the homeschooling community and we are lucky to be part of several homeschooling communities. This program is sponsored by US Bank.

I’ve been looking forward to seeing this show because there are many things I enjoy in life and opera is one of them. I love the passion, the costumes, the drama and the singing. The beauty of the human voice really presents themselves in opera since opera is an extended dramatic composition in which all words are sung together. I felt this show would be a perfect opportunity to introduce live opera to Mishy since it is aimed for all ages. She has been listening to opera at home and in the car and when we play it, she listens intently. I also want her to be surrounded by languages – to hear the wonder and power of words in different cultural contexts – and understand the different ways of expressing them.

Who Wants To be An Opera Singer is set up as a game show where three contestants are “selected” from the audience. It introduces the contestants and hosts by their different vocal range  – soprano, mezzo soprano, tenor, and baritone and mentions the vocal range – bass. While the contestants are playing, they are also singing. The first song was an excerpt of Madame Butterfly, one of Butterfly’s arias – an aria is a solo – for those new to opera. When the contestant who was playing Butterfly in her minimal costume, started to sing, my daughter perked up, listened intently and watched in amazement. There is nothing that replaces the impact of seeing theatre live. We were privy to excerpts from Carmen, La Traviata, The Barber of Seville, Rigoletto, and Madama Butterfly, while learning about opera. Mishy clapped and yelled, “Bravo! Bravo!” throughout the show – which is encouraged. Afterwards, we sang opera together – as best we could.

There will be a public performance of Who Wants To Be An Opera Singer on Saturday, February 5th, 2011 at the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. Tickets are $15. There is an art workshop at 10AM and the performance is at 11AM. For more information and to buy tickets, here is the link:

http://www.laopera.com/educom/programs.aspx

Update: I’ve just  been given two tickets to giveaway for the upcoming show of Who Wants To Be An Opera Singer on Feb. 5th at the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center. Please leave a comment by midnight, February 1st for your chance to win. You will earn an extra entry if you click onto their link and comment that you have.

www.laopera.com

Good luck!

Update: Congratulations, Tania! You’ve won the 2 giveaway tickets see Who Wants To Be An Opera Singer!