Many operas deal with topics that are gory and adult in nature (murder, deception, rape, adultery and suicide to rattle off a few) Honestly I don't know that I would want to expose my 6 year old first grader to Faust (or Carmen or Tosca, for that matter) There are a lot of operas that *are* more suitable for the younger kids like Peter and the Wolfe or Gianni Schichi(sp). I agree that the teacher showed a small to middling error in judgment even if she was in a progressive locale like New York or Los Angeles.
If you're going to work with children across a variety of are groups, you've got to be conscience of picking materials that are a bit more age appropriate. The parents might think it's fine to take the kids to so blood spattered R rated movie, but *you* need to walk a much finer line.
However, people need to calm down!
There are a lot of things that might lead you to believe that someone worships Satan, last time I checked, showing kids something about the opera Faust ain't one of them. To make this woman send a letter of apology to every parent in the elementary school is a bit much. From the sound of things, she's lucky they didn't pull her out of her house at night, tie her up and burn her at the stake. These people are acting like Chicken Littles. Kids will be exposed to stuff that is too rough for them all the time; no child has died from it. The worst part is that this is probably for naught. A lot of the time, heinous stuff goes over little kids heads because they have no frame of reference to process it.
These kinds if things remind me of something that happened to when I was about 11. My mother and 2 of her friends inadvertently took a bunch of us kids to an R rated movie. It began with a naked man and woman in bed and just went on from there. The women were horrified, to say the least. The next day I said to my mother, "Mom, what does 'screw' mean?" Did I mention that we were on the way to church?
My mom may have screwed a lot of things up but I will always give her credit for the way she handled this. She didn't panic, didn't yell or get up set. She simply told me that it was a slang word for having sex but that it was a rough word and not one that we used in our house. That was a more than adequate answer for an 11 year old and no one was hurt in the making of that film. (and I can't believe that I'm saying this but...) I wish more parents would adopt my mother's attitude. Morality is not something that is taught by keeping ideas and images away from children but rather by allowing them in and discussing them. Children will do as you do not as you say.