Opera for babies offers an early introduction to music

BambinO is currently touring Scotland, introducing opera to little ones.
BambinO is currently touring Scotland, introducing opera to little ones.

This August and September, Lliam Paterson’s five star ‘opera for babies’ BambinO is touring Scotland – including performances in Motherwell.

Written by Scottish Opera’s former Composer in Residence Lliam Paterson and directed by Improbable’s critically-acclaimed Phelim McDermott, the pioneering and unique piece of music theatre for infants aged 6-18 months is a co-production with Manchester International Festival and Improbable.

BambinO recently had sell-out tours in Paris and at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, and is being performed at The Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman next year.

BambinO celebrates the possibilities of music and the power of the infant imagination by reinventing operatic language and traditions for children at an age when their minds are wide open to new sounds, images and experiences.

Babies are free to explore during the performance, and to interact with the singers and each other.

Director Phelim McDermott said: ‘BambinO has gone down a treat with our tiny audiences and it has been fascinating to see their reactions.

“With some mimicking the sounds made by the singers and others dancing along to the beat, it certainly looks like they’re enjoying it.

“Adults get the chance to experience opera in a new way too, through the eyes and ears of the babies.”

Lliam Paterson continued: ‘BambinO is a little opera with a big heart, bringing all the operatic passions to the youngest of opera newcomers and their parents.

“Together with Phelim and designers Giuseppe Belli and Emma Belli, we have created a work that is as freshly experimental as it is in love with the grand traditions of opera.

“The smallest ears as well as the seasoned connoisseur will find something new and joyous in BambinO.

“And for adult opera newbies, it’s not every day you get to have a truly new theatrical experience at the same moment as your baby.”

Scottish Opera’s Director of Education and Outreach, Jane Davidson, said: ‘This is a perfect opportunity to experience the highs and lows of opera, created in miniature, through the eyes and ears of your very own bambinos.”

Performances at Motherwell Concert Hall & Theatre are on September 17 and 18, at 10am and noon both days. See www.scottishopera.org.uk for more information.