Stage music >
- Composer: Jânis Lûsçns
- Time: 01:30:00
- Genre: Stage music
- Instrumentation: Orch. - 2222 / 2331 / timp., perc., hp. / 2111; Dr. Dolittle – tenor, Gub-Gub the pig – mezzo-soprano, Jip the dog – baritone, Polynesia the parrot – mezzosoprano, Pipinella – coloratura soprano, Cheep – tenor, The Naughty Sparrow – baritone, Badger
- Info: performance material for hire
Opera for children in 2 acts• Libretto by Mara Zalite based on works by Hugh Lofting • Premiere on 22 December 2000 • Stage director Baòuta Rubesa, Set designer Ieva Jurjâne, Costume designer Kristîne Jurjâne, Conductor Andris Veismanis, Lighting designer Paul Mathiesen (Canada)•
- Description: • Act 1•
Dr. Dolittle lives in London, in the mansion of his late friend Mr. Morton, together with Gub-Gub the pig, Jip the dog and Polynesia the parrot. As usual, Dr. Dolittle has spent all his money on charity and on his medical practice for animals. Suddenly an amazing opera diva arrives - Pipinella, a canary. She has interrupted her brilliant career in order to search for her missing friend Cheep, also a famous canary opera singer (a tenor). Dr. Dolittle and his friends decide to help find Cheep. They also have a wonderful idea: to produce an opera! But only if they can find Pipinella’s friend and partner, Cheep. Cheapside the Naughty Sparrow, who knows London like the back of his wing, joins the rescue mission. Pipinella is so beautiful and charming that he falls head over heels in love with her! Sadly, she loves only her long-lost friend, Cheep. They look for him in the Zoo, but Cheep isn’t there. However, they do find many birds who could perform in the opera. Auditions and rehearsals begin. Then the Badger visits Dr. Dolittle because of a toothache. Dolittle finds a piece of gold in the Badger’s mouth, and now the doctor has money again! He spends it all in the Bird-Seller’s pet shop in order to release the many captive wild birds from their cages.
Later, a certain Mr. Dornton arrives in Morton’s mansion, claiming to be Morton’s only true heir. He orders Dr. Dolittle and all the birds and animals to leave their beloved home. However, Dr. Dolittle is sure that the mansion was left to him in Morton’s will. Unfortunately the will has been lost. If it is not found the Doctor and animals will be driven from their home. Where is the will? Where is Cheep? What will happen in the birds’ opera?
• Act 2•
As it turns out, Cheep has been held captive in a cage in a coal mine. The bird is being used to detect the presence of poisonous gas in the mine. Cheep’s death would be a signal for the miners to abandon the mine. The bats who also live here are deaf and dumb to Cheep’s pleas for help. Only a Little Bat wants to save him. In the meantime, word has spread in London that the birds are making an opera. An opera rehearsal is interrupted by members of the press. The birds are excited and happy about their show, but worried because the leading man has not yet been found. Then the Little Bat arrives and reveals Cheep’s whereabouts. The great canary tenor is saved. Pipinella and Cheep sing for their joy and love. But Cheapside the Naughty Sparrow laments his star-crossed love for Pipinella. However, Polynesia the parrot is very happy – she tells the press that the opera will be brilliant, and that a parrot and a sparrow will fall in love!
During a rehearsal, fire breaks out in Morton’s mansion. It started in the attic, where a wren has her nest, and the baby wren is still in the nest. All the birds and animals fight the fire, until Dr. Dolittle saves the nest and the nestling from the flames. Dornton returns, furious, determined to drive them all out of the mansion. He reveals that he himself set the house on fire, in order to destroy the will which was somewhere inside it. Actually, he knows very well who Morton’s mansion truly belongs to. But then Gub-Gub the pig finds the will! It was hidden in the wren’s nest. Morton left not only his mansion, but a whopping hundred thousand pounds to Dr. Dolittle and his animals. Dornton is banished forever! The mansion belongs to Dolittle! Pipinella and Cheep love each other, and they will sing in the opera. Tomorrow is opening night. The performance will be all about the birds and the animals’ desire for freedom. Isn’t opera wonderful!
- Putnu opera (The Birds' Opera)
- Year of composition: 2000
- Language: Latvian
- Firstly executed at year: 2000 Premiered December 22nd, 2000 at Latvian National Opera • Director Baòuta Rubesa, scenographer Ieva Jurjâne, costume designer Kristîne Jurjâne, conductor Andris Veismanis, light designer Paul Mathiesen (Canada)