San Francisco Opera presents the U.S. premiere of a work called Up in the Mountains next week. It’s written for a very specific audience… and their parents. Director of Education Ruth Nott explains it’s by a team from Norway that has been very successful writing operas for children, from infants to age three. The performances, which take place under a tent, will have a single singer in a brightly colored costume seated among them and their mother or father.
You can find out more about the production at the San Francisco Opera website.
Ruth Nott says that they first discovered the works of Hanne Dieserud, Christina Lindgren and Maja Ratkje about three years ago, when now General Director Matthew Shilvock came across them on the internet. They already had another work, Korall Koral, called ‘a baby opera’ that is similar in concept. Up in the Mountains had its Norwegian premiere in 2011. “It’s basically a sung piece, in a non-language,” Nott explains. “I sometimes say it’s like a mommy language or a ‘I’m speaking to my mommy or a daddy language’. It’s not text that any one of us would understand, however, it’s a story that everyone will understand.” Knowing the interests and limitations of both babies and parents, they’ve kept the work brief. “It’s about a 20 minute performance, and we are doing some activities that are tied to the performance that are very tied to this particular age group. So things that they can do right before the show and also right after.”