NEWS: Groundbreaking new opera for babies

The long-awaited follow up to Scottish Opera’s hugely successful BabyO performances, BambinO is a pioneering and unique piece of music theatre for infants aged 6 to 18 months.

A new co-production with Manchester International Festival and Improbable, the show premieres at Manchester International Festival in July, before travelling to Edinburgh as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, then to Glasgow for performances in Scottish Opera’s Production Studios.

Written by Scottish Opera’s Composer in Residence Lliam Paterson and directed by Improbable’s critically-acclaimed Phelim McDermott, BambinO will be a celebration of the possibilities of music and the power of the infant imagination.

The show reinvents operatic language and traditions for children at an age when their minds are wide open to new sounds, images and experiences. Babies are free to explore during the performance, and to interact with the singers, musicians and each other.

Director, Phelim McDermott, said: ‘It is inspiring to create a new opera for what is possibly the most discerning – and important – audience there is. We all know that babies respond to music and we want to nurture and stimulate that relationship through their very first opera.’

Scottish Opera’s Composer in Residence, Lliam Paterson, continued: ‘BambinO will bring an operatic experience to a little audience with ears open to discovering new sounds. It is so exciting to create a colourful and vibrant work that can engage both babies and adults fully, while conveying the drama and passion of opera. The opportunity for me to work with as imaginative a director as Phelim McDermott is fantastic and truly inspiring. He and design team Giuseppe Belli and Emma Belli will bring a beautifully crafted operatic world to a whole new audience!’

Scottish Opera’s Director of Education and Outreach, Jane Davidson, said: ‘Incorporating rich, exuberant colours and images – both musically and visually – we’ve created the perfect miniature opera. Complete with percussion, cello and tiny pianos, all four performers fashion a magical soundscape that will enthral and challenge both the babies and the adults who come along with them. This is not a ‘baby’ show in a traditional sense; this is baby baroque as you’ve never seen it before!’

Cast and Creative Team

Composer Lliam Paterson #

Director Phelim McDermott

Designers Giuseppe Belli & Emma Belli

Soprano Charlotte Hoather

Baritone Timothy Connor

Cello Laura Sergeant

Percussion Stuart Semple

# Scottish Opera Emerging Artist


Performance Diary

Pavilion Theatre, Manchester (Part of Manchester International Festival)

4 Jul 1.30pm (Preview performance)

5 Jul 10.30am & 1.30pm

(Further venues around Greater Manchester, 6 to 16 Jul)

On sale from 9 March.

Edinburgh Academy (Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe)

8 to 20 Aug (excl. Mon 14 Aug)

10.00am & 11.30am

Scottish Opera Production Studios, Glasgow

21 Oct to 5 Nov (excl. Mon & Tue)

10.00am & 11.30am


Full details on ticket sales for Edinburgh and Glasgow performances available from 5 April.


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