Thursday, August 31, 2006

Opera tips its hat to Tulsa Libraries | Curtains Up!

The season opens with The Little Prince (Oct. 7, 13, 15 in Tulsa and Sept. 22-24 in Norman), an adaptation of the 1943 book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It’s the most translated book in the world after the Bible, the Torah and the Koran. Crawford says this opera is a tip of the hat to Tulsa’s library and literary culture. Also, it’s a perfect introduction for children to the Opera.

In the story, a pilot is stranded in the Sahara Desert and meets the Little Prince, a wanderer from the planet Asteroid B-612. His planet is being overtaken by enormous baobab trees, and they might eat his beloved flower, Rose. She instructs him to leave the planet, seeking wisdom in other worlds, and then return to her.

During his travels, the Little Prince meets many characters, including a Lamplighter who recommends he visit Earth. There, he is introduced to a snake who claims he can send the boy back to B-216 with just one touch. Before he leaves, the Little Prince tells his companion, the Pilot, not to worry--he will not die, for his body is just a shell. The snake strikes and the Little Prince disappears, leaving the Pilot and the audience together to ponder the little boy’s soul. The theme is “anything essential is invisible to the eye,” and Crawford says it’s an important message for children as well as adults to learn.

“Sometimes we adults need a refresher course,” she said.

Another uniqueness to point out is that The Little Prince is composed and produced by women, an incidence that is almost unparalleled.

“In our industry, it is actually quite unprecedented to have the composer, set designer, director and conductor be a female team,” Crawford said.

Starring in The Little Prince is 12 year-old Graham Phillips as “the little prince” and David Adam Moore as “the Pilot.”

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