The Feast That Went Off With A Bang

Genre: Stage opera and music theatre: for children's voices, piano and optional horn and clarinet


Description: A music theatre work for young children written in a style that is direct and easy to learn
Duration: 10 minutes
Date: 2017
Programme Note

A music theatre work for young children written in a style that is direct and easy to learn with contrasting rhythmic and lyrical passages. Libretto by Peter Cant, based on the Grimm Brothers' tale 'The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage'. Scored for three groups of children's voices - the Birds, the Sausages, the Mice. No need for solo roles or professional singers. A confident pianist is needed to provide accompaniment. This can be optionally expanded to a small ensemble comprising: clarinet in B flat, horn in F and piano.

The Feast was brilliant. It took on a Kubrick-esque anarchic poise.
— Frederic Wake-Walker, Artistic Director, Mahogany Opera Group

The Feast That Went Off With A Bang

Once upon a time a group of mice, birds and sausages formed a partnership. They kept house together and for a long time lived in peace and prosperity. The birds’ task was to fly in to the forest to fetch wood; the mice set the table and the sausages did the cooking.

After a while the birds grew tired of collecting wood and asked if they could swap jobs, but the mice and sausages wouldn’t agree to it and so the birds flew off to the forest to do their duty. Days passed and the birds did not return. The mice grew desperately hungry and decided to eat the sausages instead. The sausages warned the mice that they were full of gunpowder, ‘You’ve heard that sausages go bang?’ they explained. But the starving mice didn’t listen and ate the sausages up.

Just then the birds returned from the forest, laden with firewood. When they saw that the mice had eaten all the sausages they were furious. Who would cook their meal? Tired and famished, they decided to eat the mice there and then. The mice protested, ‘we’re full of gunpowder’, they cried. But the birds didn’t listen, ate the mice up and went to bed.

Alas, the sausages had been right; they were indeed full of gunpowder, and now the birds’ stomachs began to stretch and groan as their explosive meal began to fizz and pop inside them. Clutching their bellies, the birds awoke in fright, but it was too late. With a huge bang they were blown to a million pieces from the inside out. There were feathers all over the floor and nobody to clean them up.

Programme note © Peter Cant, 2017

First performances by Snappy Opera, Mahogany Opera Group with schools from five regions of England:

24 March 2017 Whitehaven Civic Hall: 4pm & 6pm

28 March 2017 The Apex Bury St Edmunds: 5.30pm & 7pm

29 March 2017 Town Hall Launceston: 3pm & 6pm

30 March 2017 The Drill House Great Yarmouth: 2pm

4 April 2017 Playhouse Whitley Bay: 6pm

Frederic Wake-Walker Snappy Operas artistic director

Stephen Deazley Snappy Operas music director