Today, the Royal Opera House presents the world première performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Coraline, an opera for family audience, with a libretto by Rory Mullarkey based on the novel by Neil Gaiman.
It is the composer's fifth opera. His previous works for the stage include Greek (1988), The Silver Tassie (2000) and Anna Nicole (2011).
Coraline opens a mysterious door in her parents’ home to discover an Other World. It is inhabited by her Other Mother and Other Father, who have buttons instead of eyes. Everything seems better in the Other World – to start with, at least…The cast includes soprano Mary Bevan (Coraline), mezzo Kitty Whately (Moter / Other Mother), baritone Alexander Robin Baker (Father / Other Father), soprano Gillian Keith (Miss Spink), mezzo Frances McCafferty (Miss Forcible) and tenor Harry Nicoll (Mr Bobo). Sian Edwards conducts the Britten Sinfonia. Aletta Collins conducts. The opera is performed at the Barbican Theatre.
Coraline discovers that the Other Mother wants to trap her in the Other World forever, and has kidnapped Coraline’s real parents to try to force her hand. But Coraline tricks her and she and her parents finally escape safely back home. (reproduced from the Royal Opera House website)
The full score is published by Boosey & Hawkes. It is available for online perusal. According to the score, the requested orchestra is the following :
- flute (doubling piccolo), oboe (doubling Cor anglais), clarinet in Bb, bass clarinet, basson, horn in F ;
- trumpet in C, trombone ;
- harp, piano (doubling celesta), percussion (1) ;
- 1 violin, 1 viola, 2 cellos, 1 double bass.
The performance should last about 90 minutes.