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How The Whale Became

How The Whale Became (Image: AKA © ROH, 2013)

Royal Opera House stages children’s opera

Published 18 October 2013

Children will be able to find out How The Whale Became this Christmas thanks to a new opera for young audiences that opens at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio theatre later this year.

Playing from 10 December to 4 January, How The Whale Became is based on The Dreamfighter And Other Creation Tales, a collection of stories by former Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, and explores how the world and the vast range of creatures within it were created, providing answers to those all-important questions, from why whales are so huge to why foxes are so crafty.

Featuring music by Welsh composer Julian Philips with a libretto by Edward Kemp, the opera is directed by Young Vic Associate Director Natalie Abrahami, whose credits at the acclaimed Southwark venue include After Miss Julie and the forthcoming production of Happy Days starring Juliet Stevenson.

Featuring Fflur Wyn, James McCoran Campbell, Andrew Dickenson, Donna Lennard and Njabulo Madlala as the cast of colourful creatures, which include a whale, polar bear, elephant, peacock and frog, the show will transport audiences older than five into a magical world where they will discover how some animals didn’t quite turn out as expected.

While Philips’ opera will enchant young audience members in the iconic venue’s studio space during the festive period, nearby, at the Duchess theatre, the Royal Opera House’s first ever West End transfer will be delighting families with its balletic take on Kenneth Grahame’s children’s classic The Wind In The Willows from 11 December to 1 February.

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