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Introducing... Pay the Piper

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

Based on the fairy tale of The Pied Piper of Hamelin, this new opera was composed by our Balancing the Score composers.

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.

Pay the Piper features a chorus of 70 young people, plus three professional singers and its unique staging will transform the Glyndebourne auditorium.

Need to know:

Pay the Piper is our first ever production to be staged in the stalls – offering the opportunity to experience opera at Glyndebourne like never before.
The opera is under an hour in length and sung in English, so perfect for families or anyone seeing opera for the first time.

Our Youth Opera members have been hard at work creating these rat props for Pay the Piper.

Why you shouldn’t miss it:

It’s a tale you know well – or think you do! – but our version encourages you to consider the way you see the world and challenges you to question how reliable narrators are. How does someone’s perception change the story? Just how accurate is memory and how much is it coloured by who we are and what we want to be true?

The cast and creative team:

Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Anna Appleby, Cecilia Livingston and Ailie Robertson. Photo: James Bellorini

Directed by our Artistic Director, Stephen Langridge, based on the ideas and concept developed by Sinéad O’Neill, who is on maternity leave, and Joanna Parker. The youth opera was written by our Balancing the Score composers with a libretto by Hazel Gould. Conductor Johann Stuckenbruck leads Psappha, an ensemble specialising in new music, with a chorus of 70 young people and three professional singers.


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