ALMOST 40 Border singers will team up with Victorian Opera on its quirky family production of The Pied Piper in Albury on Wednesday.
Nineteen children and 16 adults will perform alongside Victorian Opera’s professional cast and orchestra after months of rehearsals with Victorian Opera’s music staff in Albury-Wodonga.
Robert Browning’s classic tale The Pied Piper of Hamelin is reborn in outback Australia in Richard Mills’ new take on the fable.
An artist in Victorian Opera’s Professional Development Program, Simon Bruckard (conductor, The Grumpiest Boy in the World), has conducted the production across regional Victoria.
Bruckard said Border choralists would perform in various roles including the citizens of Hamelin, school children and rats.
He said principal roles were performed by artists from Victorian Opera’s Professional Development Program.
“Judging from the community projects Victorian Opera has done in the past, I think the community choirs will enjoy the experience enormously,” he said.
“What’s unique about this production is that these community participants are on stage as characters.
“I think it may be a new experience for a lot of them who may have sung in choirs but not been involved perhaps in something staged or with an orchestra before. It will be very enriching.”
Director Derek Taylor returns to Victorian Opera after his productions of Cinderella (2012) and Sleeping Beauty (2013).
Taylor said Richard Mills had set the production in an Australian town.
“There are some variations with the characters he’s created within the town,” he said.
“It’s fairly similar to the original tale but it has also been adapted for the Pied Piper, Columbian tenor Carlos E. Barcenas.
“He sings in Spanish with translations provided from his magical talking cat, played by Michelle McCarthy.”
The Pied Piper follows touring projects including The Magic Pudding (2013) and Remembrance (2015).
It has toured Melbourne, Port Fairy, Mildura, Warragul, Bendigo and Shepparton and ends with the Albury Entertainment Centre performance from 7.30pm.
The regional tour is supported by Creative Victoria and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.