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Photo: courtesy of David T. Little

Little, David T.

Vinkensport or, The Finch Opera (2009-2010)

Duration: 40 minutes
one act opera for 6 singers and orchestra

Libretto by Royce Vavrek (E)

Abbreviations (PDF).

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.


Farinelli's TrainerSoprano
Sir Elton John's TrainerSoprano
Holy St. Francis's TrainerSoprano
Hans Sachs's TrainerTenor
Prince Gabriel III of Belgium's Trainer's SonBaritone
Atticus Finch's TrainerBass-Baritone


A motley assortment of contestants participate in their annual finch-sitting competition, a Belgian folk competition that pits chaffinches (and their owners) against each other in a battle to see who has the most melodious bird. The contest is run as such: a man waves a flag and each of the competitors sits in front of a box containing one of their fellow contestants’ birds. Every time a bird makes a proper call (a suck-e-wiet, as it’s called in these circles) they receive a tally mark. The bird with the most points wins, bringing much pride to its trainer. Although a seemingly simple and gentle competition, access to the competitor’s inner monologues and flashbacks to their preparations reveal deception, deep-seated rivalries, painful loneliness, and blossoming romance.

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