On November 3rd and 4th, the Sarasota Youth Opera is presenting a revival of its acclaimed production of Benjamin Britten’s charming opera The Little Sweep, which was last seen in 2013. The opera will be preceded by a prologue specially created for the Sarasota Youth Opera by the conductor and Youth Opera, music director Jesse Martins and director Martha Collins (Rootabaga Country, The Secret World of Og).
The Little Sweep – a moral story with a relevant message for today’s world
Set in early 19th century Boston, The Little Sweep is an enchanting story with a positive message about inclusion and collaboration. The little chimney sweep Sammy is put into service by his impoverished family and bullied by the mean old sweeper. Little Sammy is endangered in his dangerous and dirty work when he is cleaning the chimneys in the home of a wealthy family. In the end, a group of friendly and resourceful children – supported by their young governess – save the day. The opera will be performed in English, with English titles displayed above the stage. The running time including the prologue is approx. 70 minutes and is therefore perfect for families with children.
There are 90 children in the cast of The Little Sweep, with three of the adult roles being played by members of the Sarasota Opera Studio Artist and Apprentice Artist programs. All aspects of production – including lighting, costumes, sets, sets, props, wigs, and makeup – are provided by the professional Sarasota Opera’s staff, giving youth opera members a remarkable opportunity to work with seasoned experts.
The British composer Benjamin Britten wrote the opera especially for children’s voices. The composer devoted himself to the idea of educating young people in the musical arts and in another of his works – The Young People’s Guide to the Orchestra – introduced millions of young audiences to classical music and the distinctive sound of every orchestral instrument.
In addition to the opera, the production includes a prologue that explains how an opera is conceived and produced, as well as supporting content related to The Little Sweep. The audience sees the sets change before their eyes. Every member of Sarasota Youth Opera takes part in this prologue, created by Music Director and Conductor of Youth Opera Jesse Martins and Director of Sarasota Youth Opera, Martha Collins.
Sarasota Opera is proud to partner with Embracing Our Differences to bring students and teachers from Sarasota and Manatee Counties to a special school matinee from The Little Sweep on Monday, November 5th at 10:30 am. Participants are invited to sing along to the last music number of the show. Materials to prepare students for their debut at Sarasota Opera are included in a teaching material handbook distributed to teachers. This special matinee is provided to schools for free (transportation courtesy of Embracing Our Differences & Tickets courtesy of Sarasota Opera).
Benjamin Britten’s little swing
Sung in English with English titles over the stage?
November 3, 2018 at 5.30 p.m. and November 4, 2018 at 12.30 p.m.
A Sarasota Youth Opera production
Family Pack tickets (up to 2 adults and 4 children) are only $ 65 and are available by calling (941) 328-1300 or the Sarasota Opera Box Office at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236.
Single tickets are $ 15 for children and $ 30 for adults, and can be purchased at sarasotaopera.org and at the Sarasota Opera box office. For more information, contact the box office at (941) 328-1300.
ABOUT THE YOUTH OPERA SARASOTA
Since 1984, Sarasota Youth Opera has given thousands of young people the opportunity to experience opera firsthand by participating in extra-curricular choirs, Sarasota Opera’s main stage productions, summer workshops, and fully staged Youth Opera productions. As the only program in the United States that pledges to present full annual opera productions for young voices willing to include anyone who wants to participate regardless of skill level or ability to pay, Sarasota Youth Opera is a national model for opera education .
Youth opera choirs: From the age of 8, singers are divided into one of two choir levels. Each choir provides a framework for everyone to participate and advance at their own level as they gain greater skills and experience. The selection listed consists of classical music that includes operatic and choral pieces in various languages. The choirs perform in formal concerts and outreach events throughout the community.
Opera’s main stage season: Members of the youth opera are selected to participate in the Sarasota Opera’s winter festival season to perform in the main stage children’s choir, as extras (extras who play non-singing roles) and for special roles by the composer for children’s voices. In the last few seasons these have been roles in La bohème, Tosca, Carmen and – at the coming Winter Festival 2019 – in the Magic Flute and in Turandot. Singers are involved in the entire production process – from early music to dramatic rehearsals and performances with opera professionals.
Youth Opera Productions: Part of Sarasota Opera’s commitment to young people includes commissioning new opera works for children and young adults. Six new works were presented as part of this mission: Deadline (1989), Polly Pens Her Lightness (1993), Tom Sutas Eye of Ra (1998), John Kennedy’s The Language of Birds (2004), Daron Hagens Little Nemo in Slumberland (2012 ) and Rachel J. Peters’ Rootabaga Country (2017). Members are involved in the creation of each opera, complete with professional staging, costumes, lighting, sound, and orchestral accompaniment.