This was presented in a very impressive semi staged ‘’ workshop “ version of the amazing new opera composed by Freddie Hill based on the classic children’s book by Charles Kingsley. The cast sat in rows of chairs onstage when not performing.
THE WATER BABIES tells the story of Tom, a persecuted chimney sweep who slips under the water. The story comments on the harshness of Victorian society, child labour and the ethics of the time.
Musically it is contemporary is style and multifaceted. It includes elements of jazz, Victorian music hall, Sondheim, perhaps Sullivan and the atonality of Schoenberg. Some of it ripples and bubbles, other parts include lyrical ballads and exciting ensemble work. Hill’s wonderful score was energetically conducted by Rowen Fox, who also also had a minor acting role as Ellie’s tutor, and finely played by an excellent small orchestra gathered on the stage. Continue reading FREDDIE HILL’S NEW OPERA ‘THE WATER BABIES’ @ THE SEYMOUR CENTRE