Hedgehog’s Home is a delightful tale of a brave Hedgehog and the love he has for his home. Its theme is thus universal, and its appeal comes through the strong characterisation of the animals involved and the superbly constructed rhyming poem through which is told in thirteen verses. The natural rhythm of the narrative and the music of the rhyme are therefore perfectly suited to musical adaptation.
Written by one of Yugoslavia's most popular authors, this story has been translated into English last year, and has now been successfully adapted to music by the highly talented composer, song-writer and musician, Emily Leather, in cooperation with the Creative Director, Elinor Moran.
An outreach project intended to benefit local Camden children, the creative team worked with the children of Year 5 (aged 10) from Fitzjohn's Primary School in Hampstead, involving the whole class in a number of singing and active workshops during the autumn term 2012. Members of the production team visited the school, presented the idea to the class and worked with the class and music teachers on the songs for the show. Children took part in singing and percussion accompaniment to the professional musicians and singers on the stage. There was also be scope for the children to be involved in stage and costume design, with the input of the Creative Director.
It is hoped that this project will be a creative work which, once written and produced, can be taken up by schools, children’s groups and amateur operatic societies and reproduced. It will add to the cannon of children’s opera a story about the importance of caring for one’s home and environment and for standing up for one’s beliefs and defending what one holds dear. Told through the universal language of music and poetry, this seemingly simple story from a far-away country actually holds an enduring and important message that we would all do well to remember.
The preview and premiere performances of the opera were performed with resounding success on Friday 9th November and Sunday 11th November 2012 at Conway Hall in Holborn - a local landmark and a centre of culture, with local schools within the area being invited to take part in this outreach project.
For more information and to listen to a live recording, please visit the Hedgehog's Home Facebook page
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