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Music Text

Samuil Marschak (R)


hiS,S,M,T,Bar(orC),2B, speaker, silent role, narrator

Abbreviations (PDF)

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.

Boosey & Hawkes / Sikorski

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes / Sikorski for the UK, British Commonwealth (excluding Canada), Republic of Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Israel.


World Premiere
Mikhail Tsekhanovsky, director / Lenfilm
Repertoire Note

Score for the cartoon-film by Mikhail Tsekhanovsky.

Shostakovich wrote much music for children, but nothing more delightful than this miniature cartoon-opera, intended for very young children, between the ages of 4 and 10.

It is based on a well-known story by Samuil Marshak, one of the most popular of Russian children’s writers:
The silly little mouse won’t go to sleep, so his mother seeks help from her neighbours, the duck, the pig, the toad, the horse and the pike. No-one can help. Eventually the cat succeeds in singing the silly little mouse to sleep. The next morning however the cat is discovered to have run away with the little mouse. Led by the dog, the other characters manage to rescue the little mouse from the cat, just as she is about to eat it.

Shostakovich originally wrote this charming through-composed opera, filled with cod folk-tunes and nursery rhymes, for a film. But it equally well makes a fine  and easily performable children’s opera.in the theatre or on the concert stage, an ideal companion to Prokofiev’s evergreen ‘Peter and the Wolf’.

Note by Gerard McBurney

Recommended Recording

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Riccardo Chailly
Decca 4607922

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