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Cautionary Tales!, Howard Assembly Room, Leeds Grand Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

Cautionary Tales!, Howard Assembly Room, Leeds Grand Theatre

Cautionary Tales!, Howard Assembly Room, Leeds Grand Theatre

Hilaire Belloc's dark stories adapted as a children's introduction to opera

'A glam-rock vision in blue shiny fabric and Heseltinian blond wig': Mark Le Brocq as Ponto the LionRobert Workman

Trying to introduce children to classical music is a tricky business. The benchmarks are still Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Poulenc’s Babar – both characterised by witty, quirky music and strong storylines. Opera is a harder sell – there’s the slowness of it, the sheer lunacy of characters striding about on stage expressing their inner feelings at full volume, accompanied by a 70-piece orchestra. So credit is due to Opera North’s education department for commissioning Errollyn Wallen’s Cautionary Tales! in response to requests for family-friendly opera.

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