IN THE PICTURE: Charlotte Trepass in Mozart's The Magic Flute
IN THE PICTURE: Charlotte Trepass in Mozart's The Magic Flute

THE Witham, in Barnard Castle, will be hosting a mini-fairy tale opera by one of the country’s leading opera companies.

Opera North will perform a family friendly version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute on Saturday, February 16, at 11.30am. 

It packs fun, fantasy and enchanting music into a 30-minute story, making it the “perfect first opera for all the family”. 

A prince is in search of a princess, but will they ever find one another? What adventures lie in wait? Who or what will help them along the way?

Suitable for children aged from four this opera is an interactive retelling of Mozart’s magical adventure, where nothing is quite as it first appears and the journey refuses to go as planned.

The show has been devised by John Savournin, who also directs and narrates the piece.

He will be joined by soprano Charlotte Trepass, tenor Richard Pinkstone and accordionist Milos Milivojevic who provides the accompaniment. Throughout the fast-paced show, the performers interact with the children, inviting them to assist the characters in completing their quest.

Before the show begins, the youngsters will be invited to take part in an arts session alongside their parents and carers where they will be helped to make a paper bird. These will have a role to play in the performance and can be taken home as a momento afterwards.

Jacqui Cameron, Opera North education director, said: “The Magic Flute’s creative and imaginative story with its exciting blend of magic and adventure offers a lot for children to enjoy and appreciate, so we were keen to present an interactive version for a younger audience.

“As a company, it is important to us that children experience opera at a young age as the exposure could be the spark that leads to a life-long love for the art-form. Young people are always amazed to hear an opera singer’s voice close-up and really respond to opera’s unique combination of music and drama.”

Tickets are priced from £4 to £8.