New York, NY – The Metropolitan Opera presents BambinO, a pioneering opera for toddlers aged between 6 and 18 months old, developed by Scottish Opera, Improbable theatre company and Manchester International Festival, where the production premiered last summer. BambinO is an operatic experience for infants that will stimulate them with new sounds and images in a 40 minute immersive performance. The opera is composed by Lliam Paterson, a prize winning young Scottish composer, and performed by an ensemble of four young artists. BambinO is directed by Phelim McDermott, whose acclaimed new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte is currently playing at the Met. Ten free performances of BambinO will take place at the Met’s List Hall from April 30 to May 5, 2018, for audiences exclusively comprised of toddlers and their care-givers. The Met is also collaborating with researchers from Teachers College, Columbia University, who will be studying the impact of the performances on the young audience members.
In BambinO, a bird named Uccellina (soprano Charlotte Hoather) discovers a golden egg, from which a baby chick, Pulcino (baritone Timothy Connor), hatches and recognizes Uccellina to be his mother. As Pulcino explores his immediate environment, Uccellina is overjoyed by him, if a little annoyed at his hyper-active behavior. Eventually Uccellina tells Pulcino of the sky and its wonders, and that it is his fate to fly the nest, leading to a final duet of farewell. Accompanying all the action, two musicians play multiple instruments, based around cello (Laura Sergeant) and percussion (Stuart Semple).
“In the Met’s never-ending quest to develop audiences of the future, we’ve decided to start at the very beginning,” said Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager, in announcing the presentation. “This should be a formative experience for the infants of NYC.”
Scottish Opera’s Director of Education and Outreach, Jane Davidson, under whose auspices the work was commissioned, said: “BambinO 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. Watch as babies and performers explore a beautifully crafted world full of golden eggs, soft blue cushions and soaring notes as a baby bird takes flight for the very first time.”
Alongside the production, the Metropolitan Opera’s Education team is working on an associated research project in collaboration with Teachers College, Columba University and leading academics Prof. Susan L. Recchia, Faculty Director of the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center and a specialist in infant development; and Prof. Lori Custodero and Nita Baxani, both specialists in early childhood music education. The research will focus on the ways individual toddlers respond to the opera.
BambinO is free, but reservations are essential: To apply for tickets: bambinoRSVP@metopera.org