The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark


The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark is a new children’s opera based on Jill Tomlinson’s classic children’s book.

Plop is a baby barn owl with a looming occupational hazard: he’s afraid of the dark. However, venturing beyond the nest one evening, he meets various new friends who take him on an enchanting musical journey through the night’s beautiful mysteries.

The opera’s infectious melodies, exciting rhythms and charming story cannot fail to create a moving and memorable night for audience and performers alike.

The Owl who was Afraid of the Dark gives young children the opportunity to practise and perform alongside trained musicians. The children are not just given parts in the chorus, but take centre stage in lead roles and as integral players in the orchestra; the show simply couldn’t go ahead without them!

The photos above are taken from the first performance, which took place in Great St Mary's Church, Cambridge, on 26th November, 2011, with children from local schools, and which received very enthusiastic reviews:

'Such music showed excellent judgement of children’s capabilities whilst never being limited to what might in other hands remain in the realm of the boringly safe.' (Seen and Heard International)

'My six-year old companion was bewitched to see so many children on stage… He longed to join the massed ranks of recorder players, and take over from the scouts’ expert bugler… He didn’t appreciate as much as I did Oliver Rudland’s virtuoso use of the fourteen-piece orchestra. The deployment of carefully-judged yet exciting sonorities meant that the youthful voices were not for a moment obscured… Benjamin Britten, his Noah, and bad-tempered God must almost regret that a couple of owls made their way into the ark to reproduce themselves towards so effective a rival opera.' (Music and Vision)

'This was children's opera at its best; it was fun and accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds.' (GSM News)

The music is ingeniously written so that it is simple to perform, yet also startlingly evocative, imaginative and atmospheric; this is a piece that is exciting both in its approachability and its artistic integrity.


If you are interested in performing this opera, please contact us here.