Opera in Two Acts | 140 minutes
Libretto by Alasdair Middleton
2S.Mez.A.CT.2T.Bar.B Soli—SATB Chorus (including small solo parts)—Dancers
This adaptation, based on Carlo Collodi‘s original well-loved Pinocchio story, is a unique and magical full-scale work for a family audience, a spectacular introduction to the world of opera that combines fairytale dreaminess and humour with some surprisingly dark undertones, and ultimately asks the question‚ what does it mean to be really human?
The whole range of operatic voices is engaged in the retelling – nine principals, including coloratura soprano, basso profundo and countertenor, play 16 roles, and there are also small solo parts for members of the chorus.
From the moment Geppetto makes Pinocchio out of a log, the puppet gets into scrapes. He is nearly thrown on the fire by a Puppetmaster, who gives him five gold coins. A wily Cat and Fox try to get the coins, first by hanging Pinocchio outside the Blue Fairy’s house, and later by tricking him. Pinocchio goes in search of justice but is imprisoned, and when he eventually returns to the Blue Fairy, all he finds is her tomb. Later, he escapes being eaten by the Big Green Fisherman, only to be turned into a donkey in Funland, and thrown into the sea, where he is swallowed by a Big Fish. In the fish’s belly he finds his father, and rescues him. Back on dry land, Pinocchio works hard to restore his father’s health, and is rewarded by becoming a real boy.
Commissioned by Opera North and Sadler’s Wells
EP7997 - Available from Edition Peters
Banner image: Staatsoper Stuttgart © Martin Sigmund