BambinO was a pioneering piece of music theatre aimed at an audience that doesn’t often get a look in at the opera – babies.
This colourful work reinvented operatic language and traditions for children at an age when their minds are wide open to new sounds, images and experiences. Babies were free to crawl around during the performance, interacting with singers, musicians and each other. Even adults found new ways of hearing music through the ears of the young.
Written by Scottish Opera’s acclaimed Composer in Residence Lliam Paterson and directed by Improbable’s ever-imaginative Phelim McDermott, who has directed at opera houses around the world, BambinO was a twin celebration of the possibilities of music and the power of the infant imagination.
BambinO played at venues all over Greater Manchester during the Festival from Wigan, Hyde and Heywood to Oldham and Salford.
‘For imagination and enchantment, this enterprise deserves every rosette going… Rarely has innocent pleasure felt so vital. BravO’ The Observer
‘..it was genuinely moving to see a little girl of no more than nine months giggling with delight as the soprano, Charlotte Hoather, imitated bird sounds during a playful, beautiful aria. Another benefit of BambinO was that it put paid to that rather tired accusation against opera: namely, that it is inaccessible or elitist.’ The Times
You can also catch BambinO on tour in Scotland at the following venues.
Edinburgh Academy – Edinburgh
Tue 8 Aug to Sun 20 Aug
Scottish Opera Production Studios – Glasgow
Sat 21 Oct to Sun 5 Nov
Liz O’Neill (Z-arts), Sue Buckmaster (The Welcoming Party), Jane Davidson MBE (Scottish Opera, co-producers of BambinO) and Nigel Barrett & Louise Mari (creators of Party Skills for the End of the World) were in conversation at the Pavilion Theatre, Fri 7 July.
Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival, Scottish Opera and Improbable.
Image credit: James Glossop