Noah’s Flood (Noye’s Fludde)
A one-act opera by Benjamin Britten
Production Sponsor: Eve Bernstein
Noah’s Flood comes to Santa Barbara! On February 3, the Santa Barbara Youth Opera teams with the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony to present Benjamin Britten’s one-act opera Noah’s Flood (Noye’s Fludde). In Benjamin Britten’s musical version, kids take on the role of the animals. Noah’s Flood was composed as a project for television (and was prominently featured in Wes Anderson’s recent film Moonlight Kingdom). It has charmed both critics and public since its premiere.
Britten had a knack for composing pieces that children would appreciate hearing and performing. Noah’s Flood is a perfect example; a 60-minute opera based on a 15th-century mystery play, written primarily for community performers and children, this one-act opera was first performed in 1958 at Orford Church in Suffolk, England. It was presented as part of Britten’s Aldeburgh Festival with artists from the English Opera Group along with a large local cast, including a children’s choir.
Regarded as Britten’s most lovable work, the opera is based on one of the famous medieval Chester mystery plays, dating back to the 15th century. Scored for a combination of both student orchestra musicians and a chamber ensemble, the opera features inspired and delightful musical innovations; for example, the raindrops are represented by the sound of a series of mugs of varying sizes slung on string and struck by wooden spoons.
Opera Santa Barbara looks forward to presenting this special piece highlighting our talented Santa Barbara Youth Opera performers. Local favorite Miller James returns to Opera Santa Barbara to direct the production. Miller has worked with the company many times as both a designer and director. He led OSB’s family productions of Hansel & Gretel (2007) and The Magic Flute (2008). Mr. James is the founder of Santa Barbara Children’s Theater and is an adjunct professor at Westmont College. Opera Santa Barbara’s General / Artistic Director Kostis Protopapas conducts members of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony (Andy Radford, music director) joined by a small group of professional musicians. The singers were prepared by Santa Barbara Youth Opera’s Music Director, Erin McKibben. Ms. McKibben is also music director of the Santa Barbara Revels and Program Director for the Santa Barbara School of Music. OSB Board Member Dr. Bob Weinman will intone the voice of God.
You won’t want to miss this family production performed for kids – by kids!
Opera Santa Barbara created the Santa Barbara Youth Opera in 2015 to provide singers ages 8 to 18 with tuition-free instruction and performance opportunities, including participation in the company’s mainstage productions. Year-round activities also include workshops and community appearances.