Free ‘Three Little Pigs’ opera performance set for Saturday

An opera version of “The Three Little Pigs” will be performed free at 2 p.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, 415 N. Lee Ave.
Thousands of Ector County Independent School District second graders had a chance to view the production Thursday and today that is performed by 13 University of Texas Permian Basin students as a joint production of UTPB and First United Methodist Church Odessa.
Minister of Music and Evangelism David Corman said the opera has elements of Romeo and Juliet/West Side Story. It’s based on Mozart’s music from “The Magic Flute,” which is teamed with Corman’s libretto, or words.

“Of course, I used that music with my libretto but we do insert kind of a funny thing at the end,” Corman said, where the cast dances to the LL Cool J version of Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf.
He added that he staged “The Three Little Pigs” a few years ago for about 2,700 second graders in Midland.
“I’ve revised it a little bit, so this one is for every second grader in Odessa. We have, I believe, right at 2,500 over six performances. It’s like herding cats, but that’s fine,” Corman said.
He wanted the students to experience something really funny and beautiful at the same time to give them a memorable experience.
“The Three Little Pigs has always been one of my favorite children’s stories. It’s funny, but it has some kind of dark elements, too — the big bad wolf …,” Corman said.
“I have four children and now two grandchildren. It’s a story I that I told a lot at bedtime,” he added.
“I remember them as little 2 and 3 year olds singing ‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf’ as one of our songs that we did, so I guess that’s the real genesis of it,” Corman said.
UTPB student Beau Roland is the narrator. DeYanira Carrasco-Gomez and Jacob Corman portray the mother pig and big bad wolf, respectively.
Carrasco-Gomez said the students love participating in the production.
“I feel like at this age they’re finally coming to understand a lot of things. They’re still young children, but they’re understanding adult-type things. There’s a lot of stuff going on that they might not entirely understand politically and stuff like that. This show has aspects of that, but it also shows people coming together from two different sides. It helps them understand that maybe unity is what we need and it kind of does it in a fun way to where they can play along. But maybe some of them are going to go home and think about this and understand that we come together in the end and we unite and care for one another,” she said.
Corman, an adjunct professor of voice at UTPB, said that plays into one of the reasons he wanted to put the opera on.
“This is this is one of the most beautiful places in Odessa just from an architectural point of view, whatever one’s faith system is. … In the old terms … sanctuary meant that people were safe. I wanted this place to be a safe place, a fun place, a place of peace and love and reaching out to those little guys so there is a memory that is really up, joyful, fun and not negative,” Corman said.