Duration: ca. 40 minutes
What is this blueness above?
A Spaceage/Stoneage Parable for young people to sing and play
This children's opera was written for Glenys Hughes and Orkney primary schools and commissioned by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for the third St Magnus Festival in 1979.The choir presents all the characters, massed or individuals, through a unison line which occasionally splits into three parts.
There is a small orchestra of elementary standard violins, recorders and brass, complemented by adult wind quartet and piano duet.
The story of this "space age/stone age parable" is built out of an exciting disaster (guaranteed to get any child going!); time travel and a gentle post-apocalypse/ pro-environmentalist warning.
The children at its Orkney premiere and in later productions such as at Leigh in Lancashire loved it; though the music takes concentration and applied effort to realise with non-specialists! Local references and place names may be changed to suit the area where the performance is taking place.
MP3 audio extract (2'38"):