Red! Beginnings

In 2018 Barefoot Opera’s Artistic Director Jenny Miller commissioned Barefoot Opera’s Lucy Mulgan to compose a children’s opera; Red!

Jenny and Lucy decided she should adapt Little Red Riding Hood for today’s generation. 

This opera focuses on relevant issues including standing up to bullying, finding our own independence, the power of inter-generational relationships (doesn’t everyone love their Granny)? Parts of Red! are sketched out, so that the children can “colour in” with their own words, sounds and movement. It is so important to the ethos of this project that the children’s creative voices are heard. 

Barefoot teamed up with local school Robsack Wood Primary Academy for a performance just before lockdown hit (phew!) in March 2020. Over sixty 8 & 9-year-olds took part alongside Barefoot Opera regulars Alice Privett (Red), Oscar Castellino (Wolfie), Jenny Miller (Mum/ Granny) with Lesley Anne Sammons as Musical Director and Lucy on double bass.

Red! Moves Across the World

In December 2020 Red! moved across the globe to New Zealand, where it was performed by another 50 children from Kelburn Normal School in Wellington. This joint project with NZ Opera and Orchestra Wellington was a pilot for a bigger production happening on June 24th 2021. 

Red! was performed in the Wellington Opera House, with 350+ children, a 20-piece orchestra with Natasha Wilson as Red!, Catrin Johnsson (Mum/ Granny), and another UK-based Kiwi, award-winning Jonathan Lemalu as Wolfie. 

The Future of Red! 

Barefoot Opera is planning on taking Red! to other primary schools in the UK in 2022. It is all about bringing the joys and power of singing and drama to children who otherwise have little or no access to performing arts.