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GCS Fifth Grader Wins Write Your Own Opera Contest

Some elementary school students might write in their diary, or maybe they write notes to friends. Lydia Maksimov however wrote a short story worthy enough for the center stage.

Lydia is now a fifth grader at Morehead Elementary. When she was a fourth grader though, she wrote the short story “Be Yourself,” and submitted it to the “Barbara Ann Peters Write Your Own Opera Contest.”

“Be Yourself” tells the story of a little girl moving from Ohio to North Carolina and finding out being yourself can help you through anything.

“I was excited when I read Lydia‘s story, which is about a young lady with a passion for reading. We love our collaboration of the Guilford County Schools and it’s exciting to align the opera we are writing with one of its core values,” said David Holley, the director of opera and professor of music at UNCG.

Now, Lydia’s short story will be the basis of an opera written by Maestro David Holley and set to music by a UNCG resident composer.

“It makes me feel amazed, happy and surprised that I won this contest,” said Lydia Maksimov when asked about her winning the competition. “I still can’t believe I actually won a contest. Wow!”

The opera version of “Be Yourself” will be presented on February 3-5, 2020 at “Opera at the Carolina,” at the Carolina Theatre. This event is sponsored by the Greensboro Opera in collaboration with Guilford County Schools and UNCG.

At the event, not only will fifth graders from across the county get to see Lydia’s short story turned into an opera, they will also be able to see a fully staged opera as well.