Photo: Monika Rittershaus
Berlin 2006 (WP of version), Jetske Mijnssen dir.
Pinocchio (2001, rev.2006)Duration: 100 minutes
Opera in two acts
Libretto by Paolo Madron with the collaboration of Jetske Mijnssen, based on 'Le avventure di Pinocchio' by C. Collodi; German version by Hanna Francesconi; English version by Benjamin Gordon (I,G,E)
2S,M,T,BBar,B,14 child soloists; children's chorus; 18.104.22.168-22.214.171.124-perc(2):I=bongos/2cowbells/2SD/claves(susp)/congas/glsp(C#3,D3)/whip/pedal dr/hi-hat/susp.cym/tamb/military dr/3timp/4tom-t/tgl/wdbl; II=cowbell/aeolian chimes/t.bells(F1-G1)/SD/claves(susp)/congas/cyms/glsp/lg parade dr(with cym)/guiro/maracas/4metallophones(SSAB)/susp.cym/ratchet/tamb/tgl/wdbl-pft-strings.
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
World premiere of version
Komische Oper, Berlin
Jetske Mijnssen, director
Conductor: Anna-Sophie Brüning
Company: Ensemble Komische Oper
|Two Policemen||children’s voices|
|Dr RAVEN||child’s voice|
|Dr OWL||child’s voice|
|Four Hares||children’s voices|
|TUNA FISH||child’s voice|
|The Speaking Cricket, Choir of Marionettes, Choir of Wayfarers to Schlauraffen Land, Choir of Fish||children’s chorus|
The Fairy tells the story: The old puppet maker Geppetto has created the perfect marionette, Pinocchio, who is able to move on his own. Geppetto sends Pinocchio to school, but the lively and wilful little boy goes to the puppet theatre instead. Mangiafuoco, the director, is tired of telling the old tales over and over again and gives Pinocchio money to travel around and bring him new stories. But Pinocchio is robbed by a pair of scoundrels and has to flee from the police because he is not able to pay for the meal he had at an inn. A pigeon brings him to the fairy’s house, but the snails needs so long to come and let him in that Pinocchio breaks down from hunger and cold in front of the door.
After the animals have already prepared Pinocchio’s funeral, the Fairy re-awakens him with some bitter medicine. When Pinocchio denies all the fooleries he has committed, suddenly his noses grows longer and longer. The Fairy exhorts him not to lie anymore. On his way back to school Pinocchio meets his old friend Lucignolo. Both boys plan to travel to where every wish instantaneously comes true and where nobody has to work. But the idlers' land turns out to be but an illusion, created by an evil magician who now catches the boys and puts a spell on them. They look like donkeys now, and Pinocchio tries to drown them in the sea. But the fish eat his ears and tail, and finally, a huge shark swallows him. Pinocchio hears weeping, and following the voice finds Geppetto who now lives in the shark's stomach. Pinocchio regrets what he has done, and carries the old man out on his shoulders.
“The Italian composer retells the famous classical story by Carlo Collodi in an entirely fresh fashion, with 57 child actors and five adult roles. Framed by a velvety blue stage, the wooden puppet … experiences, in the truest sense of the word, utterly beautiful adventures… The individual, short scenes enable even smaller children to get involved in the story… The staging never aims for a cheap laugh and avoids sentimentality… Cheerful, totally free of false pathos…” Mitteldeutsche Zeitung
“The production was an immediate success with the audience (10 minutes of cheers, applause and stamping of feet at the end)… In his gentle music Valtinoni follows a little the great masters of musical fairy tales: there is much of Maurice Ravel in the sparkling piano introduction played against the pizzicato strings and in the brass solos, both sad and beautiful. This music, however, is simpler and more direct, slightly leaning towards Puccini and Bernstein…” Berliner Zeitung