Recorded live at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, on 29th February & 1st March 2008.
Victoria Simmonds (Pinocchio), Jonathan Summers (Geppetto), Mary Plazas (Blue Fairy), Rebecca Bottone (Cricket/Parrot), Graeme Broadbent (Puppeteer/Ape-Judge/Ringmaster), Allan Clayton (Lampwick), Mark Wilde (Cat), James Laing (Fox/Coachman), Carole Wilson (Pigeon/Snail)
The Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North, David Parry (conductor) & Martin Duncan (stage director)
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Opera North’s enchanting staging of The Adventures of Pinocchio, Jonathan Dove’s 21st opera, is a wittily inventive feast for the eyes and ears. A full-length, through-composed grand opera with 29 characters, a sizeable chorus and a profound symphonic score, it is overflowing with visual delights, and children will love it! A sublime achievement by Martin Duncan and team, this production shines a bright new light on Collodi’s dream-like original story, full of charm, darkness and magic. The superb ensemble stars Victoria Simmonds in the title role, and the orchestra and chorus respond splendidly under David Parry’s vibrant baton. Mastered from the High Definition video recording and in true surround sound, this is a wonderful chance for children and adults to relive an exhilarating theatre experience at home.
Illustrated synopsis & cast gallery.
The Composer, The Librettist, The Stage Director & The Musical Director
‘What an inspired and exciting opera this is. Gorgeous characters, a busy story rich in incident and an exhilarating mix of music. Delight follows delight.’ The Stage
“…curiosity is aroused for adult and child alike from the first notes of Jonathan Dove's lavish and fantastical new opera genuinely for all age-groups. The scary moments are balanced by the joie de vivre of Alasdair Middleton's witty libretto and Martin Duncan's imaginative staging. Onstage virtually throughout, Victoria Simmonds conveys Pinocchio's flitting moods, from unthinkingly selfish to equally thoughtless acts of love, open-eyed enthusiasm to despondent sulks, with charm and verve. Plaudits should also go to the chorus, whose scenes are always visually and sonically spectacular, while the stunning surround sound of the DVD capturing every detail of Opera North's bold undertaking.”
“Dove's writing characteristically is colourful and vigorous, with inventive instrumentation, as when Pinocchio refuses to pull a cart when asked by a stranger, denying that he is a donkey - at which Dove has the orchestra briefly making a hee-haw sound. The performance, filmed live, is excellent... conducted very ably by David Parry... Victoria Simmonds is excellent in the title-role, wearing a very convincing costume, with Jonathan Summers as Geppetto. Other first-rate contributions come from Mary Plazas, Rebecca Bottone, Graeme Broadbent, Allan Clayton and others in a big cast. A very welcome issue of a most attractive new opera.”