In our fast-moving, forward-looking times, author Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials) plays the role of fabulist, providing new fairy tales for the modern world. The Firework Maker’s Daughter, written before his greatest successes, is a case in point, vividly following the young Lila’s coming of age after her father dismisses her for being a girl. She sets out on a journey of discovery, along the way mingling with exotic animals, pirates and demons. When she comes home after her adventure, Lila will have to use all her newfound knowledge to save the day.
After great success with Opera North and on tour, composer David Bruce’s opera for children has finally reached the R.O.H's Linbury Studio. It is certainly a feast for the eyes and the ears for an adult audience. As for children, they loved most of the bright score, in particular the combination between the harp and the xylophone, but the recitative proved a bit challenging. Shadow puppetry (deftly choreographed by troupe Indefinite Articles) added the necessary poetry and our young reviewer enjoyed the fireworks visuals enormously.
Emerging soprano Mary Bevan played Lila with charm and wit, and the countertenor Tai Oney added his delicate voice to Hamlet the elephant.
The press material recommends The Firework-Maker's Daughter for ages six and up. But the music and complex story might prove a little challenging for younger children. We would recommend it warmly to children at least aged 8 or 9. Having read the book might help them to enjoy the evening even more.
|What||The Firework-Maker's Daughter, ROH review|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
10 Dec 15 – 24 Jan 16, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Opera House|