The idea of creating a story with the feel of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale but with a modern message began when friend and musician Richard Tomes (who later produced the film of the debut performance) told us about some of his favourite childhood memories, stories and films, in particular the 1957 DEFA television production called 'The Singing Ringing Tree'. The production was marketed to both western and eastern Europe TV companies, dubbed into many languages and shown widely throughout Europe during the 1960s and 70s.
This early children's TV viewing was a recycling of the eternal fairy tale tradition into a (then) modern TV serialisation. The rather odd, old fashioned, even amateurish treatment is still remembered fondly today by millions all over Europe who were children at the time. In retrospect it's now clear that having left an indelible mark in the imaginations of so many, this production was far more successful than anyone at the time could have thought possible. We began to think of creating an original children's opera, using an old fashioned formula modernised stylistically in which the spiritual, sophisticated and subtle meet elements of pop culture, as well as the magic and even “naivety” of a good old fashioned fairy tale.
Over the next two years, which through personal circumstances were very sad ones for us, we worked on this opera, and it has been a source of hope and lightness, so our eternal gratitude for the inspiration, wherever it comes from.
We showed the opera to David Wyn Lloyd, conductor of the Orquestra Classica do Centro, the classical orchestra of the city of Coimbra, Portugal. He suggested that we attempt to stage the debut performance at the 5th Arts Festival at 'Quinta das Lágrimas' an open air garden venue in Coimbra, in the summer of 2013. To our delight the forces of synchronicity were with us, the theme of the festival happened to be Nature and a firm by the name of 'Águas de Coimbra' (The Coimbra Water Company) partially funded the performance which took place on Saturday July 18, 2013. Our interpreters were Portuguese vocal soloists Ana Barros (soprano), Mário João Alves (tenor), Margarida Reis (mezzo) and Pedro Teles (baritone), the Chamber Choir of S. João da Madeira and the Orquestra Clássica do Centro, conducted by David Wyn Lloyd.