What’s in a title that makes you want to pick up a book, see a movie or go out to the theater?
Lightning Strike Kids Opera Company will tell you that the title must be catchy, engage the audience and refer in some way to the deeper meaning of the story. Through alliteration, rhyme, paradox, metaphor or play on words, the students find a way to express what their opera is REALLY about. By asking what a story, song or poem is REALLY about, we access a thinking process that enables students to go beneath the surface of the text to uncover the author’s intended message, unique perspective or personal interpretation. We then ask the same about our own story.
Company members work in groups to discuss and document the deeper meaning. What are we hoping to share with our audience? What will others take from our opera? What will our audience be thinking and feeling as they leave the opera?
While pondering possible titles, we brainstormed words related to our setting and powerful moments in the opera. From this exhaustive list, students suggested titles and defended their relevance.
As small groups shared ideas, one title resonated with the entire company. Upon mention, Back on Track received an overwhelming chorus of delight and approval.
Student responses to the question, “What is our opera REALLY about?”
It’s about . . .
Who you really are inside
Life is never fair
Coming together with loved ones
To always remember the lessons of others
Think about things before you do them
Think about consequences
Making wise choices
How I affect other people
Working together to get through hard times
Letting out your emotions
Your heart breaking and coming back together
Life is never perfect
Don’t let tenacity take over your friendship
Life is hard
If something breaks and you glue it back together, it will never be the same
What is the song Get On Your Feet by Gloria Estefan REALLY about? (Daylon, Lauryn and Danielle)
What is our opera REALLY about? (Katie, Lauryn and Sofía)
What is our opera REALLY about? (Linda, Samantha and Jianna)
Justification for the title BACK ON TRACK
All five characters, their brains have something on the wrong side. Sometimes we all get on the wrong side, too. But, we can fix it if our characters can fix it.
It is a good name for our opera because we all need to get back on track.
Everyone is circling around the right track. Everyone has mixed emotions because they are spinning fast.
If a train is not on track, it needs to get back on track because the train could crash.
Back on track is a fantastic title. Jake is losing his best friend. Max is upset with Jake. Christina’s feelings are getting crushed by Rosy. Rosy keeps on lying and doesn’t know when to stop. Spike has a hard time, too. Every single character has to get BACK ON TRACK.
If we make bad choices, we’re off our track. If we make good choices, we’re on our track. It is important to be on track.
In the beginning, everyone is all messed up. At the end, everyone is back on track.