Youth Opera

Pay the Piper

A brand new youth opera retelling the tale of the Pied Piper

Friday 25 February (7.00pm) & Sunday 27 February (2.00pm & 5.30PM)
Chilled performance* – Saturday 26 February (2.00pm)

About the opera

‘This is what I remember… this is what I know is true…’

The town of Hamelin had a problem with rats. It was completely over-run; they were making nests in people’s clothes and eating all the food. The people of Hamelin looked to the Mayor for a solution and then a stranger came into town offering to get rid of the rats, for a price.

That much, everyone can agree on – after that, is another story… This story.

Join Glyndebourne Youth Opera and a cast of professional singers for a brand new opera based upon the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Pay the Piper was composed by Anna Appleby, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Cecilia Livingston and Ailie Robertson – the participants in Balancing the Score, our development scheme exclusively for female composers. The libretto is by Hazel Gould. Johann Stuckenbruck conducts Psappha, a new music specialist ensemble celebrating 30 years in 2022. It will be directed by Stephen Langridge, based on a concept developed by Sinéad O’Neill.

Running time: 60 minutes (approx.) with no interval. Tickets: £10 (£6 concessions).

Staging Pay the Piper

In early 2022 we will be carrying out some essential updates to Glyndebourne’s backstage systems, meaning that the stage will temporarily be out of action. The creative team of Pay the Piper have responded to this challenge by presenting this work in a unique way. For the first time we’ll be performing in the stalls area of the auditorium, on a purpose-built stage. The audience will be seated in the circle areas of the theatre.

*Chilled Performance – Saturday 26 February

During this performance there’s a casual approach to noise and movement in the audience. It’s ideal for those who feel more at ease knowing they can go in and out of the auditorium during the show. Chilled performances mean, for example, that someone living with dementia is free to ask a companion what’s happening on stage, or a parent with a baby-in-arms knows they can leave the auditorium and come back as they need. There will also be a large screen relay of the performance in a smaller room near the auditorium. As there aren’t any adaptations to the production itself, this Chilled Performance isn’t suitable for those with sensory sensitivities.

If you’d like to attend this Chilled Performance but need support to do so, please contact the Box Office about our free tickets for carers.

Audience coach service

We will be running a return coach service from Lewes railway station to Glyndebourne. The coach will leave Lewes railway station one hour before the performance. After the show it will depart from Glyndebourne’s coach park, 20 minutes after the performance. Return tickets cost £5 each and must be booked in advance.

Performances for Schools

There will be a Performance for Schools on Thursday 24 February with tickets available for just £6 per pupil. Schools are invited to apply for tickets via ballot, find out more here.


Please note that filming will take place throughout Pay the Piper. Members of the audience may be captured in the footage, due to the way the opera is staged.

Creative team

Johann Stuckenbruck

Stephen Langridge
based on the concept developed by Sinéad O’Neill

Composed by
Anna Appleby, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Cecilia Livingston and Ailie Robertson

Hazel Gould

Original Set and Costume Design
Joanna Parker

Associate Designer
Natalia Orendain

Puppet Design
Joanna Parker


Cast includes

Maya Kherani

Rachael Lloyd

Adam Marsden

Glyndebourne Youth Opera

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