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The Adventures of Pinocchio (Vocal Score)
Instrumentation: 2S.Mez.A.Ct-T.2T.Bar.B Soloists-SATB Chorus – (II=Picc).2(II=Ca).2(I=Sax.II=B-cl).2(II=Cbsn) – – Timp – 3Perc – Pf(Cel/Kybd) – 2Acdn-Mand – Hp – Str(
ISMN: 979-0-57700-346-7
Duration: 150 mins
Date of 1st Perf: 21DEC07
 Adventures of Pinocchio DVD
 Opus Arte
 Opera North
Details:  Opera in Two Acts

Libretto: Alasdair Middleton

Commissioned by Opera North and Sadler’s Wells London

‘Tidings of great joy: a Christmas miracle in Leeds! A modern composerhas produced a new opera that is funny, poignant, tuneful, spectacular– and, best of all, stunningly conceived for all the family. To findan opera house full of eight-year-olds, held spellbound throughout ashow lasting nearly three hours, is rare enough. To find thatdiscerning adults – and yes, even grizzled old critics – are alsogrinning from ear to ear at the final curtain is pretty wellunprecedented.
This must be Jonathan Dove’s finest hour. The Hackney-based composerhas produced some entertaining community and youth-orientated showsover the past couple of decades. But with the help of a delightfullydroll libretto from his long-time collaborator, Alasdair Middleton, hehas turned Carlo Collodi’s classic fairytale into a surreal wonderlandof music-theatre that leaves an indelible impression.
The orchestration alone is masterly: a quick-change succession ofear-tickling timbres and catchy rhythms. They perfectly evoke thegaudy kaleidoscope of misadventures and dodgy characters that assailthe aspiring boy-puppet as he gradually learns, mostly the hard way,what it is to be a proper human being.
It’s true that Dove’s music contains plenty of echoes. Sondheim,Britten, Bernstein, American minimalism, and (in its sinuousLydian-mode melodies) even Vaughan Williams come to mind. But whateverits influences, the score is a magically crafted vehicle for a pacystory. […]
Beg, borrow, steal or preferably buy a ticket.’
Five Stars - Richard Morrison, The Times, 26 December2007

‘Pinocchio is a tale which has been told in many different ways: as acartoon strip by original creator Carlo Collodi; as a sentimentalanimated adventure by Walt Disney; and now as a darkly surreal grandopera by librettist Alasdair Middleton and composer Jonathan Dove.[…]This is Dove's 21st opera, but only the second with a full pit infront of it; and he uses these expanded resources with magnificentrelish.
The most admirable aspect of the work is its refusal to compromise.Dove and Middleton incorporate the sinister, near-death elements ofCollodi's narrative that are usually edited out: the music for thescene in which Pinocchio is fleeced of his money is almost too morbidto bear. Yet the younger members of the audience seemed to be lappingit up. Children can be the hardest audience to capture, but also themost loyal when their attention has been won. When I askseven-year-old Jack Richardson from Bradford to nominate his singlefavourite moment he responds without hesitation: "I liked it when theCricket got squished!"’
Five Stars – Alfred Hickling, The Guardian, 24 December 2007

‘"Make me, make me!" demanded Pinocchio of Jonathan Dove and, obeyinghis tapping inner voice, the composer did just that. With the writerAlasdair Middleton, he has fashioned an opera, which, from theglittering opening chord and the appearance on stage of a singing log,cannot fail to beguile young theatre-goers. At Opera North's worldpremiere of The Adventures of Pinocchio, the older andpreposterously black-tied audience was equally enthralled.
With a large cast covering the 27 named roles, there's huge scope forvivid characterisation – musically, dramatically and visually. Thereis nothing in the score that could possibly put off anyone for whomthe words "new music" send shivers up the spine. […]
What is clear, however, is that Dove's melodically abundant lines areperfectly carved to match the shape and cadences of Middleton'sspeech-rhythms – more so than is usual in operatic vocal-writing,perhaps.
Sometimes whittled down to nothing more than percussive fragmentsbreaking a dramatic silence, the full orchestra and lusty chorus arelavishly employed elsewhere to almost Verdian effect. […]
This Pinocchio is clearly for life, not just for Christmas.’
Lynne Walker, Independent December 2007

‘What an inspired and exiting opera this is. Gorgeous characters, abusy story rich in incident and an exhilarating mix of music. Delightfollows delight. Pinocchio might seem a familiar story but thisproduction takes on the darker aspects of Collodi’s original tale,including the moment when Pinocchio is hanged. It will surprise adultswho have only seen the Disney version. […] On press night youngsterson booster cushions were transfixed from first to last. It really isthat good.’
Kevin Berry, The Stage, 27 December 2007

The Adventures of Pinocchio
Contemporary Music
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