Spitalfields Music brought their Musical Rumpus show on tour to libraries in our neighbouring borough, Barking and Dagenham, this month. It’s a show made just for babies and toddlers (0-2 years of age).
Comprised of six actors and a few more cast members to keep stirring up the action, the Musical Rumpus took place on a colourful floor-level stage, the audience seated on comfy cushions and sheepskins (there’s a reason why. . .) all around. Handel’s Acis & Galatea was played live on cello, violin, and flute and enacted for the sheep (. . .played by the children in the audience).
If that sounds a little confusing, it’s not meant to be. This art really is for the children. You really just have to believe that and let these folks take you on the journey.
charming, natural, amazing: ‘a multi-sensory, interactive opera for babies’
The actors were amazing at interacting with the children, getting them engaged and involved with beautiful sounds–mellow chimes, soft voices, a little sing-along. Not a push as with most children’s entertainment, just the gentlest of invitations to listen, smile, and be a part of something magical.
As Liesl sat in my lap, hardly venturing past the sheepskin at her feet, the gentle grasp of her hand told me all: it was wonderful for her. And for me. Time well spent this morning.
From the Spitalfields Music website:
Our opera series for 0-2 year-olds hit the road again in March 2014 as we head on tour to libraries and community venues in the London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham and Newham with a brand new adventure set in a world of mountains and lush green fields.
A sleepy giant strides through the fields, in search of a space to rest; meanwhile a young water nymph tries to make rain, although things don’t quite go according to plan. Join these characters on a journey through a mysterious world of giants and mountains, sound and colours that will leave you and your baby enchanted. Handel’s rustic and much-loved opera Acis and Galatea is transformed into a multi-sensory, interactive opera adventure for babies and toddlers to listen, touch and explore.
Musical Rumpus creates early experiences of opera and adventure for babies and toddlers. Taking celebrated baroque operas and re-imagining their stories and music specifically for the youngest of ears, we give children the opportunity to explore sounds, instruments and objects throughout the performance including a specially-designed free-play session.