Markets in everything: opera for babies

Yup, real baby babies, not non-real grown-up babies:

Scottish Opera is attempting to reach beyond its normal audiences of middle-aged music buffs by launching a series of concerts aimed at infants, aged between six and 18 months.

The experimental performances, to be staged at venues across the country, will feature no lyrics, narrative or plot. Instead, classically trained singers will create baby-friendly noises, such as Wellington boots splashing in puddles, buzzing bees, quacking ducks and the fluttering of feathers.

The audience will also be encouraged to gurgle along to the score and to crawl over a furry garden set, featuring hand puppets and a range of themed props.

There are many quote-worthy paragraphs in the article.  Like this:

“We were advised that when you are seven months old you are still not focusing very well [TC: I doubt this] so we have created a tactile garden set.”

Davidson said test performances had confounded expectations. “We expected it to be quite noisy, but we were delighted when we saw the happy expressions on their wee faces,” she said.

Or this:

“When I first mentioned the idea of opera for babies, some people looked at me as though I was demented. People would roll their eyes and say, ‘You can’t expect a six-month-old child to sit through a performance of Wagner,’ ” said Davidson.

“Of course, that was never going to happen, but some people still have fixed opinions of what they perceive opera to be. We believe this project will show just how robust and flexible an art form it is.”


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