Pinocchio in new opera at Sadler’s Wells

Published April 17, 2008

Opera North’s new family-friendly opera The Adventures Of Pinocchio has its London premiere at Sadler’s Wells from 29 February to 1 March, as part of a UK tour.

Written by composer Jonathan Dove and librettist Alasdair Middleton, The Adventures Of Pinocchio is a brand new opera suitable for all the family, based on Carlo Collodi’s original 1883 story of the wooden boy who longs to be real, Pinocchio.

Musical theatre and opera composer Dove’s previous credits include The Enchanted Pig at the Young Vic and the airport comedy Flight. Speaking about this new work Dove said: “For a long time I have thought this tale would make a marvellous opera – one that could appeal to a whole family. I feel passionately about creating works which will appeal to children, young adults and adults alike. Pinocchio is a familiar and well-loved character, yet his story will be surprising for lots of people – darker and more gripping than they expect. I hope it will attract a wide audience.”

The Adventures Of Pinocchio stars Victoria Simmonds as the child-puppet Pinocchio, Mary Plazas as the Blue Fairy and Jonathan Summers as Pinocchio’s father Geppetto. They are directed by Martin Duncan and conducted by David Parry. The production is suitable for anyone aged eight and over, with £10 tickets available for under 16s (not bookable online).

In other operatic news, the Royal Opera House’s intimate Linbury Studio stages a revival of family opera Gentle Giant from 29 February to 2 March. Based on the book by former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo, it tells the story of a strange and forbidding giant who lives on an island. Nearby villagers are wary of him, suspecting that he is the reason that fish can no longer be caught in the silver lake. By accident, one young girl discovers that she can help the giant, and he in turn can help save the village.

Written by Stephen McNeff and Mike Kenny, Gentle Giant has been specially created for children aged seven upwards and adults.

For children wanting to explore the world of Gentle Giant a little further, the Royal Opera House is holding a special hands-on workshop on 1 and 2 March at 12:00. Tickets cost £5 and all children must be accompanied by an adult. Call 020 7304 4000 to book.

CB