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The Enchanted Tail History
Victoria Robertson was commissioned to write The Enchanted Tail by the Port Ludlow Performing Arts, Washington State, in February 2017. The show received great reviews and the kids responded enthusiastically to the performance. After being hired back for a second performance the following year, Robertson knew that this could be a much bigger project.
“I think there is a very strong desire to have music and live theatrical performances available for kids and families. This is especially true since there is less and less music education in the schools. In a world of digital technology and pop music, it is nice to keep culturing children by exposing them to classical music in a way that is fun and not intimidating or boring. I think we have really achieved that with our fun show The Enchanted Tail. See…Opera can be fun!”, said Robertson.
Robertson teamed up with two other incredibly talented musicians in the San Diego area to bring The Enchanted Tail to life.
More about the Team
Creator and director Victoria Robertson is no stranger to the San Diego music and theater scene. Over a decade ago she founded one of the first children’s entertainment companies in San Diego, Princess Parties and Friends, bringing joy to hundreds of little kids’ birthday celebrations. She has also been the music director for several children’s theaters, working with kids in the performing arts. Her involvement in the San Diego community spans from singing with the San Diego Opera, the San Diego Symphony, and touring with the San Diego USO as Miss USO. The operatic soprano has a visual arts degree in film production from UCSD and a graduate music degree from SDSU. She is thrilled to dedicate her energy towards this beautiful program enriching the lives of families and children through some of the greatest pieces of music in history. Works from Mozart, Bizet, Verdi, and Lehár are seamlessly integrated into the original fairytale. The Enchanted Tail teaches kids about accomplishing goals by meeting new friends and working together.
Bernardo Bermudez plays the leading male character, the Fox, and partners with Robertson on the business development of The Enchanted Tail. As well as having a concert and national operatic career, Bermudez has a degree in cognitive psychology specializing in child development. The baritenor has strong alliances with opera companies across the country and has helped contribute to many kids’ education missions. He has performed several years with the San Diego Opera and the LA Opera’s outreach program.
NINA LEILANI DEERING
Nina Leilani Deering worked with Robertson to compose the interlude music and a couple or original pieces in The Enchanted Tail. Her expertise in classical music and jazz improvisation help the musical flow of the program giving it an original presentation. Her background as a concert pianist and songwriter made her the perfect match for this project. She is also a strong community advocate, having co-founded the rising San Diego homeless choir, Voices of our City.
“The opera could not have had the success it did without the contributions of Bernardo and Nina. I wrote the role of the Fox specifically for Bernardo, my duet partner, and it complimented the touring show we already have called Duetto - a program of opera and musical theater duets. Bernardo’s opera career has really been expanding and he is a wonderful performer. Nina is extremely musical and one of the most talented people I know. She notated the musical interludes and composed a few original songs and adaptations for the show. It is a really special team,” shares Robertson.
The team has high hopes for The Enchanted Tail. They want to offer this program to opera companies across the USA who may not have the budget for an in-house educational outreach program, or perhaps just want another outlet to promote opera to the families in their communities. They were awarded an alumni enterprise grant from the Music Academy of the West and a private grant from the Faye family of Coronado to help with the success of the orchestral premiere.
The Enchanted Tail is written for children grades K-6 but people ages 2 – 99+ will enjoy the show.
ORCHESTRAL DEBUT MAY 2019
Robertson has a large vision for The Enchanted Tail brand. After performing the short opera for children in the Pacific North West (thanks to Port Ludlow Performing Arts), she started reaching out to organizations in San Diego, California.
“Step one was to premier the opera and see how the kids respond. Not only did they love it, but the parents loved it too!”, Robertson said, “They all thought it was clever and very funny and it was satisfying to know that we were also entertaining and educating the parents. Many adults are still intimidated by the idea of opera”.
Wanting to expand the idea and reach more children, she began envisioning The Enchanted Tail being performed with orchestra. After reaching out to several community orchestras, symphony members, and even youth symphonies, Bermudez and Robertson were approached by an amazing opportunity - to perform The Enchanted Tail with Classics 4 Kids as part of their 2019 season. The non-profit focuses on presenting kids with orchestrated classical music. Teaming up with Classics 4 Kids’ music director and conductor Dana Zimbric, the appropriate edits and reductions have been made to perform The Enchanted Tail with a professional union orchestra in May 2019.
“Classics 4 Kids believes music and arts education to be a form of social justice. Our children deserve quality arts and music education no matter their standing in the community, and our schools struggle to provide an arts rich education”, Zimbric said, “This season we will embark on an exciting journey with Victoria Robertson and Bernardo Bermudez – to bring their original kid-friendly operetta The Enchanted Tail to the orchestra stage. The World Premier of this original orchestral version will take place at the historic Balboa Theatre in San Diego in May 2019.”
Classics 4 Kids celebrates its 25th Anniversary this season and will reach nearly 30,000 elementary students in San Diego with our professional orchestra concerts and programs.
“It is an amazing opportunity for us”, said Robertson, “because not only do we have an orchestra to work with, but Classics 4 Kids rents out the Balboa Theater and busses in 5000 kids over 4 performances…it was just the perfect collaboration.”