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Northampton opera for tots to have Edinburgh première

Published: 24 July 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

An opera for children aged 12 to 24 months, commissioned by Scottish Opera and Northampton’s Royal and Derngate, is to have its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Fox-tot! is composed by former Scottish Opera composer in residence Lliam Paterson. In 2018 his “opera for babies” BambinO was performed at the Fringe, in Paris and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York after premièring at the 2017 Manchester International Festival.

Directed by Roxana Haines and designed by Giuseppe Belli and Emma Belli, the 45-minute show is “an engaging mix of music and puppetry” performed by mezzo-soprano and former Scottish Opera emerging artist Katie Grosset and countertenor Daniel Keating-Roberts. They are joined by cellist Laura Sergeant and percussionist Michael D Clark.

Sung in English, Fox-tot! takes inspiration from French baroque dances and contemporary opera. It tells the story of a young fox sent on an adventure to explore the world and learn to see through the eyes of other creatures including a cat, a butterfly and a frog.

Scottish Opera’s director of education and outreach Jane Davidson said, “Fox-tot! aims to stimulate the little ones’ physical and intellectual curiosity in their surroundings as well as instilling the beginnings of empathy, a critical skill which is arguably the most defining of all human qualities.”

Fox-tot! will be performed in Edinburgh Academy from Friday 2 until Friday 16 August (excluding Mondays) at 10 and 11:30AM. It will move to Royal and Derngate from Tuesday 27 August until Sunday 1 September and will tour Scotland in spring 2020.