Taking its story from the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, it tells the story of the dashing Lemminkäinen, who travels to the far north to find a mythical bride whose beauty “makes the sun sigh”. En route he faces a series of adventurous challenges that – that, against the enforced happy endings of modern fairy tales – he fails. Dismemberment follows. Thankfully, his mother is on hand to magically sing him back to life.
A familiar tale to listeners of Sibelius' Lemminkäinen suite, Dove’s account is jauntier, accompanied by puppetry and energetic action. Scored for a modest force of six singers and a six-piece band, the music has a folky, dancing swing, replete with accordion. It's also a good introduction to the sounds of adult opera: the Swan, a part of coloratura soprano, sings with a sweeping vocalise. As with Dove's other works for the young, Swanhunter seems likely to be busy enough for a child's attention span yet substantial enough for an adult audience.
Swanhunter is suitable for ages seven and up.
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
02 Apr 15 – 11 Apr 15, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Opera House website.|