Tag Archives: Opera

Opera for your tiny tots

I love the range of sights and sounds available in Edinburgh during the Fringe, one minute you are watching a dinosaur walking around Bristo Square and the next listening to opera for babies at Edinburgh Academy.

Fox-Tot! is a new production from Scottish Opera directed primarily at 12 to 24 month olds but I loved it too!

There is lots of interactivity for the babies and toddlers, who are encouraged to come on to the stage/floor to engage with the singers and puppets, to touch and feel all the wonderful textures whilst listening to the story sung to them.

The children there were in awe, of the puppets, the entertaining actors bringing the set to life with movement and song, and also to the musicians; a cellist and a percussionist had babies staring at them in wonder!

The full sketch, click to see larger.

The show runs for around 45 minutes and there is time for the audience to mingle on the set and get photos of their children with the puppets and cast.

I thought it was a lovely relaxed show, friendly gentle and interactive, a real sensory experience for little ones and their parents, and the perfect way to introduce opera to tiny ears.

Fox- Tot! runs until Aug 16th (not Mondays) at 10am and 11.30am within the Magnusson Theatre at Edinburgh Academy near Stockbridge. Plus there is onsite parking fro those with tickets.

For more information and to book a ticket see the Scottish Opera website below. And let me know what you think of it below too.

Fox-Tot! at Scottish Opera

A night at the opera, for father and daughter

On Thursday I took my 8 year old daughter Zoe to the Festival Theatre, to see Scottish Opera’s The Magic Flute.

I received an invite from Scottish Opera to capture the show with my sketches and thought my keen ballet and theatre fan Zoe would love to come too.

It was our first time to the Opera, as I said to the friendly couple behind us when we took our seats which overlooked the orchestra who were busy getting ready.

The couple told this was a good one to start with as it was in English so easier to follow. The buzz of excitement was all around us and as the lights dimmed the audience hushed.

I knew Zoe had been to the theatre before, to see the Nutcracker by the Scottish Ballet but I also knew it was the dance she was interested in. I was a little unsure about the length of the opera, being around 3 hours in total including a 20 minute interval break.

I needn’t of worried though, from the moment the very funny Papageno (played by Richard Burkhard) appeared on stage with a burst of flames and wearing a colourful outfit Zoe was mesmerised.

Set in a spectacular world inspired by the Victorian futurism of HG Wells and Jules Verne, this production includes plenty of comedy, dialogue and story so that those new to opera can not only follow along but really enjoy the spectacle.

Julia Sitkovetsky, (sketched above) playing the Queen of the Night sang beautifully and had the theatre spellbound during her time on stage. Zoe and I have been (very badly in my case) trying to copy the famous tune. You can see a clip of the show via the Scottish Opera website link below.

The day after Zoe and I drew these sketches from the night, it was a great way to talk about the evening and remember certain highlights. I liked the way The Three Boys floated down to guide the way when needed and Zoe laughed about The Three Ladies that wanted to eat the handsome prince!!

Prices start at £20 per ticket but at the moment if you are under 26 years of age you can get tickets for the opera for just £10 via the Scottish Opera website HERE.

Scottish Opera website

American Lulu at the King’s Theatre

AL_LuluPhotographerLast night I was lucky enough to attend the dress rehearsal of ‘American Lulu’ at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, part of the Edinburgh International Festival and performed by Scottish Opera and The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. 


Set against the backdrop of the US civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1970s the audience are transported to the smoky jazz clubs of the Deep South, to follow the story of Lula, a seductress, victim and manipulator.


Caught up in greedy games and seedy schemes, and surrounded by lovers driven to despair, Lulu makes an inexorable rise to the highest levels of power, money and fame. But her descent is just as swift. Twenty years on, as the scarred Lulu looks back on her life, she faces a squalid history of sex, murder and violence.

AL_KingsRoomThe opera is only on tonight, and tomorrow. For more information visit the EIF website HERE