Grand Lake Montessori

helping to make childhood a journey, not a race




The Performing Arts Week was first started in 1981 when the composer of our first children’s operas, Sanford Jones, came to Oakland to train Montessori teachers in music experiences for children. Teachers and students came from Concord, Walnut Creek, Marin County, San Francisco and Oakland for a 2-week seminar hosted by Grand Lake Montessori (formerly known as Casa dei Bambini). Teachers performed two operas written for children’s voices, “Persephone” based on the Greek myth and “The Happy Prince” based on a story by Oscar Wilde.

The casts were a mixture of GLM staff, Bay Area students and Montessori teachers. Ten years passed and GLM grew from one classroom to five, and started an elementary class. In 1991 GLM was invited to do a children’s opera with another Montessori school in San Luis Obispo. The parents of the San Luis Obispo school hosted Casa elementary children in their homes for a week, and our joint production of “Pearl” was a great success.

In 1992 GLM hosted “Opera Week” in Oakland. We invited students from Park Day, Berkeley Montessori and other schools to join us. Each year the word-of-mouth of the amazing Children’s Performing Arts Week has grown.

What is truly remarkable is the elasticity and absorbent capabilities of children 6 to 12 year olds. The entire opera libretto, words and music, plus dance solos and acting are given to the children in two weeks. The children are immersed in the theater experience and learn because of the extraordinary teaching of our team of professionals. The parents work in the months ahead on costumes and scenery. GLM welcomes new opera participants as well as returning alumni. The Camp is open to any child 6 to 12 and there are special roles for GLM 5 year olds (students at GLM only) who are signed up for the camp during opera week. 


1981 - Persephone

1991 - Pearl

1992 - Harlequin

1993 - The Burning Rice Fields

1994 - Persephone

1995 - Hiawatha

1996 - Rhodopis

1997 - The Little Mermaid

1998 - Cupid and Psyche

1999 - Hachma and Mazel

2000 - The Awakened One

2001 - Pearl

2002 - Harlequin

2003 - Moon Maiden

2004 - On the Road to Freedom

2005 - Burning Rice Fields

2006 - Persephone (photos)

2007 - Hachma and Mazel (photos)

2008 - The Mermaid & the Prince (photos)

2009 - Rhodopis (photos)

2010 - Hiawatha

2011 - Burning Rice Fields (photos & clip)

2012 - Harlequin (videos)

2013 - The Miracle Tree

2014 - Azteca and the Peace Makers

REGISTER HERE to attend the Performing Arts Camp.

or see what our parents are offered for Summer below.