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Three Bears, Four Notes

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All Ages

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Dunedin Fringe

The Little Box of Operas presents a double bill of comic musical treats. In this world premiere production, Goldilocks a la Mozart, by Auckland composer William Green, retells the familiar tale but with a modern twist. Set to well-known – and sometimes surprising - music by Mozart, this short opera is comedy or satire, as you choose.

The Four Note Opera, by American composer Tom Johnson, is also new to Dunedin. With no plot, no defined characters and a musical palette of only four notes. The Little Box of Operas’ artistic director has the singers’ destiny at her mercy. Described by Johnson as '‘part absurdist, part minimalist, part satiric and part simple comedy" it is performed regularly all over the world (with translations in at least six languages).

The Little Box of Operas was created in 2015 to perform chamber operas in non-theatre venues in Otago. We prefer to work ‘in the round’, bringing the action as close as possible to the audience. Working without a stage or fixed sets makes the productions both flexible and portable.

Our debut production Dido and Aeneas (2015) was performed in All Saints’ Anglican Church (Dunedin) and a private garden in Millers Flat; the 2017 comic double bill (Haydn’s La Canterina and Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appetit!) was presented in Hanover Hall (Dunedin), with later performances in Cromwell and Roxburgh.

All our performances have been critically acclaimed; on La Canterina and Bon Appetit!:

(Bon Appetit!) 'A solo performance by mezzo-soprano Claire Barton, who multi-tasked her way through a 20-minute cooking demonstration, vocalising operatically. […] Full of humour, genuine ingredients, and astute colourful piano accompaniment to match.'

(La Canterina) 'The hour-long work was well-paced, with excellent string quartet accompaniment. […] Outstanding vocal and acting performances in this production, […] impassioned interpretation, […] facial bewilderment, created continual humour.' (Otago Daily Times, 6 March 2017)

'[…] Exquisitely formal music in informal halls. As with last year’s Dido & Aeneas, the group’s professional standards were consistently high […]', 'We loved the risky physical demonstrations of actual components of a recipe […] and Claire Barton’s mastery of comic idiom: expertly deep-voiced yet sometimes as light as a soufflé.' (NZ Opera News, July-August 2017)

Fringe Tags; Theatre, Music, Comedy

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