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Opera on stage at Northwestern

Miss Addy, left, played by Melissa Cardamone, is not happy during her wedding ceremony to cavalry sergeant Bill Corey, right, played by Matt Tintes, while Northwestern Elementary student Nicholas Johnson, center, play the reverend during the opera. The Opera for the Young group put on "The Elixir of Love" for the students on Wednesday morning in Poplar. (Jed Carlson/

A young cowboy in love, a rough and tumble cavalry sergeant, a beautiful young rancher and a shady peddler of cure-alls lit up the gymnasium as the Opera for the Young's crew brought "The Elixir of Love" to Northwestern Elementary School this week.

The group, which makes it's home in Madison, travels all over the Midwest bringing opera to children who may not get to experience the art form in their hometowns.

Opera for the Young incorporates students from the schools they visit into their performances. Along with a choir seated to the left of the stage, 16 students performed along with the opera professionals to help with the singing and dancing. Two students, fifth-graders Jared Howen and Nicholas Johnson, even had speaking roles.

After the opera performance, the students had the chance to ask the performers questions that ranged from "How long have you been singing opera," to "Is there real root beer in the bottle?"