ROH Opera Dots - Pagliacci
Being commissioned by the Royal Opera House to write something was a very exciting moment. Having the chance to pitch an adaptation of one of my favourite operas was also rather fun. And then adapting this tale of a sulky clown treating his friend and partner badly in a way that children between 6 months and 5 years could understand was a unique challenge.
The ROH Education department were gloriously helpful, explaining what stage of development different children would be at, and what exercises could help them improve coordination and speech skills. The combination of challenges between adaptation for children and functional purpose was great fun, and I hope the children enjoyed it.
Yes, I did make it a happy ending. The original's a little bloody.
This was my first foray into opera written for (very) young audiences, other than as a translator - I really enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to the next time.
“Being a 10:00 show for toddlers, there were surprisingly few reviewers or audience members giving verbal feedback.”
- Leo Doulton