From Independence to The Metropolitan Opera

Independence teacher Kristine Neale attended a program in New York City that gave her a firsthand view of the inner-workings of productions at The Metropolitan Opera.

Neale served as a CMS representative for the Met Opera - HD Live in Schools training.

The Met's HD Live in Schools program features opera performances that are transmitted live from the Met stage to movie theaters around the world.

Neale is one of several educators who accompany students to watch the performances at a local theater. She also uses the provided educator guides for activities and tips to help integrate the performances into classroom teaching.

As part of the professional development opportunity in New York, Neale had four days of intensive training in theatre and music.

“We had workshops, giving us methods to excite kids about opera who normally wouldn't even think about going to the opera,” Neale said.

Neale also attended the Italian opera "Il trovatore," which she had taken her students to see in the theater. She and other participants also met directors, singers and many of the technical people involved in executing operas.

“I was awe-struck and have a new deep appreciation for the work that goes into such a big production,” Neale said. “From the lady who folds the inserts for the program to the guy who orchestrate the sets, it's unbelievable to witness.”

Neale is a National Board certified teacher. She teaches chorus, French and Spanish at Independence, where she has been since 2005. Before Indy, Neale worked at Ranson Middle, in the states of Virginia and New York.

Her husband, Andrew Neale, is a fifth-grade IB teacher at Lansdowne Elementary.