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Ellington School Premieres Student’s Opera

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ellington School Premieres Student’s Opera

When Juan Amaya was a young child, he started writing short stories to entertain himself. As an elementary school student, he taught himself how to play the saxophone and later the viola. Now, as a high school senior at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Amaya has brought his two passions together by writing and composing an original opera.

Called “Cinde’ella,” the opera brings a religious twist to the classic Cinderella story. It will premiere at Ellington this weekend — marking the first time the Burleith public arts school has produced an original opera created by a single student.

Amaya has spent nearly three years working on the piece, composing the music and writing the libretto. His teachers say it’s a remarkable accomplishment for any high school student, particularly one who had no formal training in music composition before arriving at Ellington.

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