20 Jun 2021

Lucy Mulgan's interactive opera

From Standing Room Only, 2:27 pm on 20 June 2021

Little Red Riding Hood reimagined as an interactive opera for children... That's what UK-based Kiwi composer, Lucy Mulgan, has created for Orchestra Wellington and New Zealand Opera. RED! is set in the New Zealand bush and addresses some big issues children face, including how to handle bullying. Around 400 primary school children will sing alongside New Zealand opera royalty including bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu as Woolfie in the production that premieres this week in Wellington. Lucy would have loved to have been at the premiere. But she's working with a community-based puppet theatre company in the UK where, very gradually, the performing arts scene is coming alive after the UK's extended pandemic lockdown. Lynn Freeman asks her about writing an opera specifically for an age group that isn't the traditional target audience.