Dr Martyn Harry, Lecturer in Music at St Hilda’s College, has composed a children’s opera, ‘My Mother Told Me Not to Stare’ which will be launched in Oxford on 14 June.
The opera will be performed by Theatre Hullabaloo, at the Pegasus Theatre in Oxford, from June 14 until June 16, as part of a national tour of schools and theatre venues. Theatre Hullabaloo will preface each performance with workshops in schools and theatres. Dr Harry feels very strongly that new classical music should engage with the community, and ‘My Mother Told Me Not to Stare’ is the most complete expression of this aim.
The opera is an innovative fusion of children’s theatre, classical music and puppetry and has been described as ‘high art for children’ and ‘one of the strongest pieces of work made for a family audience in a long time’ (Arts Council England). The opera is a key part of Dr Harry’s compositional research.
The opera was commissioned by two children’s theatre companies, Theatre Hullabaloo and Action Transport Theatre. It was inspired by the books of children’s author, Philip Pullman, who has shown that depth of meaning and emotional intensity is an appealing aspect of works intended for children. In the same way, the creative team behind ‘My Mother Told Me Not to Stare’ set out to create something that would excite, challenge and move audiences in an unforgettable way. The result is a ‘deliciously dark operetta for curious children and their grown ups’.
Full details can be found here.
Times of performances in Oxford can be found on the Pegasus Theatre website www.pegasustheatre.org.uk