By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Right now, thousands of kids are waking up early and being shuffled off to one kind of summer camp or another.

Most center around sports, but Mike Schuh reports from a camp that you’ve never seen or heard before.

Most 14-18-year-olds listen to contemporary artists, but teens at the Lyric Opera House are listening to Verdi, Mozart, Puccini and Pavarotti.

At the Lyric, it’s not band, soccer or lacrosse camp.  Welcome to opera camp.

Katy Morgan, 14, and Rahze Cheatham, 16, auditioned to be there.  It’s a full month for 20 teens in a camp that’s hard to explain to friends.

“I try to tell my friends that.  They’re like, ‘Come hang out.’  And I say, ‘I’ve got to rehearse my music.’  But I’ve got stuff to do, and I’d like to have fun, but I’m having a different kind of fun,” said Cheatham.

“I love singing.  I want to perform.  I can’t imagine there’s anything else I would want to be doing,” said Morgan.

Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life.

“That’s exactly what I tell my mother. She’s like, ‘Be an engineer.’  And I’m like, ‘That’s a back-up plan,'” said Cheatham.

The artistic director loves the raw talent.

“That’s what revivifies me, as well.  This is the future, knowing they have pure love for it.  And after doing it for 30 years like I have, you say, ‘Oh, no, not another rehearsal.’ But these kids approach it with the pure joy of what they want to do,” said Jim Harp, Lyric Opera artistic director.

The campers are presenting an opera they created. You can see it Friday at 7 p.m. at the Lyric Performing Arts Center.  The event is free.


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