Five Deaths and a Happy Ending
Opera is about love, death and disaster. Something is always going wrong, yet everyone - on stage and off - has a wonderful time. This show, featuring 3 singers, 5 deaths, one happy ending, and a dragon, tells the kids everything they need to know about this completely over the top art form.
As part of our Performances for Schools programme this autumn, Five Deaths and a Happy Ending will be touring across the country to give a special dedicated performance to pupils aged 7 to 10 years old. Premiering at The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury of 5 November, the production will move on to The Garage in Norwich, The Stables in Milton Keynes and The Cygnet Theatre in Exeter.
Five Deaths and a Happy Ending is recommended for primary schools and families.
Running time: 50 minutes.
In Five Deaths and a Happy Ending we start where opera starts, in 1604 with Monteverdi’s Orfeo. This is the piece in which Eurydice – the wife of Orfeo – gets killed by a snake and Orfeo descends to the Underworld to get her back. He fails, but the tunes were so good, you can see why opera took off. So we go on a whistle stop journey down the centuries, clocking up Magic Flute, Barber of Seville, Verdi’s Force of Destiny and Wagner’s Seigfried.
A versatile trio of singers take on all the parts, while the rest of the team double up as keyboard player, presenter, lighting man – plus props, dragon, and orchestra. There’s plenty of scope for audience interaction, in fact we won’t get a rain storm without them…
Writer and Director Sarah Lenton
Lighting Designer Del Carlyle
Soprano Rachel Taylor
Tenor Paul Hopwood
Baritone Michael Wallace
Pianist Berrak Dyer