The Royal Opera is set to present Wolf Witch Giant Fairy, a new folk opera for younger viewers, in a collaboration with award-winning theatre company Little Bulb. The production will take place in the Linbury Theatre, at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, over the Christmas period.
This family-friendly opera is set in a magical forest in a far-away land. The pine-filled wood is replete with mystical creatures, enchanted folk, wolves in disguise and witches on broomsticks. This innovative production will put a new spin on much-loved fairytales, taking the well-known tale of Little Red Riding Hood as its basis.
Opening on 10 December, Wolf Witch Giant Fairy marks the Royal Opera’s first fully staged work in the Linbury Theatre since the Royal Opera House was forced to close in March 2020 due to Covid-19 health restrictions. The shows will also be the first run of fully relaxed performances at Covent Garden – allowing for noise and movement within the auditorium, re-entry when needed and including chill-out spaces, making it more accessible for younger audiences.
Kate Wyatt, creative producer for the Royal Opera, commented: “We set out to explore the possibilities of combining extraordinary storytellers, theatre-makers and opera singers to see what we could learn from each other. We’ve had the most joyful two years developing this show and can’t wait for audiences to join us.
“This is a production for everyone, and the whole run will be made up of relaxed performances, designed to immerse audiences in Little Bulb’s magical world of fairytales. We invite you to get lost in our enchanted woodland, meeting both well-known characters and new faces along the way.”
Inspired by the tradition of Scandinavian roundwood buildings, a special woodland theatre has been created by theatre designer, puppet maker and illustrator Samuel Wyer, who also designed the costumes. The cast includes Little Bulb’s artistic director Alexander Scott, administrative director Clare Beresford and musical director Dominic Conway, alongside associate artists Eugenie Pastor, Miriam Gould, Shamira Turner and Tom Penn, as well as musician and actor Jon Whitten, baritone Peter Brathwaite and soprano Claire Wild.
“One of the things we love about opera is the high drama, and stories don’t come much more dramatic than that of Little Red Riding Hood, who enters Grandmother’s cottage only to find a terrifying Wolf there instead,” Little Bulb said in a statement.
“In our Red Riding Hood, we have a heroine who is adventurous, kind and takes no nonsense. On her way to Grandmother’s cottage, she travels through the fairytale wood and in the process gets sucked into all kinds of other strange tales. She meets an evil Witch and an arrogant Giant – as for the Fairy you’ll have to wait and see …”
Performances run from 10 December 2021 to 3 January 2022. Tickets cost from £4 and are available now. The opera lasts about 1 hour and 5 minutes with no interval and is sung in English. The production is suitable for children aged 5 and above. Selected shows are British Sign Language interpreted or audio described.
In anticipation of the show, the Royal Opera House’s Learning and Participation team is hosting a ‘Fairytales and Magic’ Family Sunday. Packed with creative and practical activities for all the family, the event will run from 10 am on Sunday 28 November, treating younger audiences to witch-themed recitals, stage fighting workshops, barre classes, storytelling, colouring and more. Tickets cost £10.
The Royal Opera and award-winning national touring theatre company Little Bulb will present Wolf Witch Giant Fairy, a new fairytale opera for children, at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre over the festive period.