NEWS: New opera for Babies at this year’s Fringe

Scottish Opera presents BambinO, a pioneering and unique piece of music theatre for infants aged 6 to 18 months, at Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 8 – 20 August.


Timothy Connor as Pulcino in BambinO – Image: James Glossop

A new co-production with Manchester International Festival and Improbable, the show premiered at Manchester International Festival on 5 July. It travels to Edinburgh in August as part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with performances taking place in the Robertson Room at Edinburgh Academy. The final stop on the 2017 tour is Glasgow, with performances at Scottish Opera’s Production Studios in October and November.


Timothy Connor & Charlotte Hoather in BambinO

Written by Scottish Opera’s Composer in Residence Lliam Paterson and directed by Improbable’s critically-acclaimed Phelim McDermott, BambinO is the long-awaited follow up to Scottish Opera’s hugely successful BabyO.

The show celebrates the possibilities of music and the power of the infant imagination by reinventing 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 and each other.

Director Phelim McDermott, said: ‘BambinO has gone down a treat with our tiny audiences and it has been fascinating to see their reactions. With some mimicking the sounds made by the singers and others dancing along to the beat, it certainly looks like they’re enjoying it. Adults get the chance to experience opera in a new way too, through the eyes and ears of the babies.’

Scottish Opera’s Composer in Residence, Lliam Paterson, continued: ‘BambinO brings 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 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!’

Robertson Room, Edinburgh Academy (Part of Edinburgh Festival Fringe)

8 to 20 Aug (excl. Mon 14 Aug)

10am & 11.30am

Tickets available from:

Fringe Box Office, 180 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1QS

0131 226 0000

Scottish Opera Production Studios, Glasgow

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

10am & 11.30am

Images: James Glossop