About Goldie Locks and the 3 Bears

An Opera for Children by Adam C J Klein
(c)1994 Adam C J Klein


You might not be aware that children love opera: coming to it with no social preconceptions they can judge it on its own merits – and opera is like no other art form.  Most regional opera companies have outreach programs which perform in local schools, often borrowing music from classical operas (Mozart's are favorites) and adapting it to stories like The Three Little Pigs. Despite this, many newly composed children's operas often have meandering saccharin music deemed by someone to be suitable for children, as if serious music like that of Bach or Beethoven is inappropriate for young ears for some reason, as if young people don't already talk to each other about serious subjects.  Kids have problems of their own just as serious to them as what troubles the grown-ups, and the sooner in life people hear serious music the sooner they'll understand it, and they'll become smarter just by listening to it. GOLDIE LOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS is a serious opera for children of all ages.


The opera's plot soon departs from the familiar Goldilocks fable to become a story about tolerance for those who are different, and how to deal with one's peers in a positive way.  The porridge is still there (but what's IN Bear porridge?), as well as Goldie falling asleep in the Bears' house (what does a Bear's house look like?); when you see the show you'll learn how the characters deal with their respective problems, and decide for yourself how well they did.  Maybe one of the characters will remind you of yourself or someone you know!


The opera utilizes four of the six main operatic voice types, letting children hear and understand the variety operatic voices can have.  (The two types not represented are alto and baritone.)  Placing these voice types into the opera, composer Adam C J Klein represents the grown-up bears with the lower voices: the lowest one – Bass – is Papa Bear, and the next-lowest Tenor is Mama Bear. (If casting Mama Bear as a tenor seems surprising, besides the fact that this is a big bear, remember that women singers have often been cast in male roles – Mozart: Cherubino; R. Strauss: Octavian; Verdi: Oskar – and in one of Kurt Weill's operas the Mother is a bass!)  The higher voice types, pitched more like most children's voices, are featured in the roles of Baby Bear (Soprano, the highest one) and Goldie Locks (Mezzo-soprano, in the middle female range.) In this production we are fortunate to have an actual student, not an adult, in one of these roles!

Parents and teachers have the option to teach or encourage children to study these figures and event which include the following:

Susan B. Anthony, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mary McLeod Bethune, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Pericles, Queen Elizabeth - and Brown v. Board of Education. Said figures and event have furry counterparts that are mentioned in the opera.

Harrisburg Opera Association

Mission Statement

Harrisburg Opera Association's mission is to offer the region outstanding artistic productions with emphasis on diversity casting, collaborate with regional groups and develop successful educational, outreach and therapeutic programs that benefit adults and youth for the city of Harrisburg and Central Pennsylvania.


Located in the state capital of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg Opera Association has mounted over 50 productions with seasoned veterans and emerging young performers from opera companies including The Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera and also Broadway.

The Harrisburg Opera Association was incorporated in 1971, as the "Harrisburg Civic Opera", which name was amended in 1995. In actuality, the organization dates back to the late 1920's, with an interruption of some 15 years through World War II to the late 1950's. In 1993 the organization successfully moved from amateur to professional. HOA has mounted more than 50 major productions for opera enthusiasts from Central Pennsylvania and beyond. Through the years when opera was considered "art for the elite", Harrisburg Opera Association not only survived, but also thrived by providing opportunities for local talent and volunteers with production and stage experience. As HOA continued to grow, the productions become larger, more elaborate and more professional with a steadily increasing budget all with the goal of attracting major talents, assisting emerging young singers and featuring local performers.

Harrisburg Academy Collaboration with Harrisburg Opera Association

As the Harrisburg Opera Association continues its commitment to excellence and outreach with educational and soon philanthropic programs, it has partnered with the Harrisburg Academy to produce the world premiere of Adam C J Klein's children's opera “Goldie Locks and the 3 Bears." This collaboration in the casting, design, production and presentation of the final opera has allowed for the students of Harrisburg Academy to work shoulder-to-shoulder with industry professionals.  Harrisburg Opera Association has been delighted to present this opera for the students of the Harrisburg Academy Early Childhood and Lower Schools, and to foster the next generation of engagement in the arts.

For more information, or to get involved, please visit the Harrisburg Opera Association website at: www.harrisburg-opera.org