Director of Education at the Atlanta Opera Emmalee Iden has created a study guide for Atlanta music educators to go along with the AO premiere of a new children’s opera called Rabbit Tales. My 2008 review of AO’s Hansel & Gretel for Opera News is excerpted in association with a number of potential lessons that educators could implement within the classroom. (link below) Lessons included in the Opera Guide for Rabbit Tales are designed to correlate with Georgia Standards for elementary grades in English Language Arts & Reading, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Fine Arts, and Health.
Those from my generation will remember Br’er Rabbit from the Disney movie Song of the South. The movie was originally released in 1946 and I remember seeing it during my childhood in the early 1980s, but it hasn’t been re-released since due to controversial claims that the movie is racist and politically incorrect.
“Br’er Rabbit is a central figure in the Uncle Remus stories of the Joel Chandler Harris. He is a trickster character who succeeds by his wits rather than by brawn, tweaking authority figures and bending social mores as he sees fit. The Br’er Rabbit stories have been linked to both African and Cherokee cultures, however the majority of theBr’er Rabbit stories originated in Africa. The stories were told and retold by enslaved Africans and the tales evolved with the changing times and circumstances.” (Atlanta Opera Study Guide 2011 p. 11)