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actor in costume at minack theatre

A fiery world of music and fantasy comes to the Minack Theatre

Posted in News by Lauren Webb on 13th June 2022

The Firework-Maker’s Daughter

Music by David Bruce Libretto by Glyn Maxwell based on the Novel by Philip Pullman
Originally commissioned by The Opera Group and ROH2
by arrangement with Red Balloon Music, publisher Sole Agent: Bill Holab Music

From 21 June, the Minack Theatre will be staging an exciting new production of the opera, The Firework Maker’s Daughter, by David Bruce and Glyn Maxwell, based on a beautiful fantasy novel by Philip Pullman (author of His Dark Materials).

In a faraway land lives Lila, who doesn’t want to be just a firework-maker’s daughter, she dreams of becoming a firework-maker herself.  But to complete her apprenticeship, she must master the most difficult and dangerous secret of all – the one that her father refuses to tell her.  She sets out alone on a perilous adventure, through which she will discover so much more than the secret she hopes to learn.

In their first collaboration with Tête à Tête, the Minack are delighted to produce this enchanting opera which will captivate both adults and children.  Executive Director of the Minack, Zoe Curnow says “We’re thrilled to be working with Tête à Tête to create this production.  For several years we’ve been looking for the perfect opera to stage at the Minack and this captivating story of a young girl on an epic quest through both fire and water, is perfect for our setting and our audience.”

Philip Pullman weaves a magical tale of goddesses and demons, pirates and lovesick elephants that is captured perfectly in David Bruce’s vibrant music and Glyn Maxwell’s witty libretto. Commissioned by the Royal Opera House the opera premiered in 2013 and was nominated in the 2014 Olivier Awards for Best New Opera Production.

Director Bill Bankes-Jones says “It’s such a pleasure to direct a production of The Firework-Maker’s Daughter. It’s a kind of homecoming in all kinds of ways for me; the first actual opera that I’ve been able to direct at home in Cornwall, the proper resumption of professional directing for me after the pandemic, and a joyous reunion with composer David Bruce, whose previous (and first) three operas were all written and premiered with me and Tête à Tête, the first being one of our very first commissions.  I think what’s unique about this show is the extent to which the storytelling is driven by the music.  Though Philip Pullman is of course a huge draw, and his work devoured by many a family, in The Firework-Maker’s Daughter Glyn Maxwell’s adaptation has inspired David Bruce to deliver this endlessly effervescent score which really drives the narrative. Children and parents alike will come away more than anything with an adrenaline rush of enchantment.”

The Firework-Maker’s Daughter features Lixin Liu as Lila leading a superb cast, with music performed by Kevos under the baton of Musical Director Patrick Bailey.

The Firework Maker’s Daughter opens at the Minack Theatre on Tuesday 21 June, with performances until 1 July.  It will transfer to Prideaux Place, Padstow, for one performance only, on Sunday 3 July.

For all tickets visit www.minack.com.