The University of Central Oklahoma School of Music Opera presents the Henry Mollicone’s children’s opera Starbird on November 15-17 at the UCO Jazz Lab.
Starbird, featuring libretto by Kate Pogue, premiered in 1981 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Set in New York City, Starbird follows a dog, a cat and a donkey as they meet by chance one summer evening in Central Park. After falling asleep, they are awakened by the sound of a landing space ship and greeted by the Starbird, whose warnings they ignore. The animals board the ship, hoping it will take them to their new lives. Soon, the animals realize they are in danger and require saving. They call upon the Starbird for help, and in rescuing the group, the Starbird teaches them a valuable lesson about working with each other’s differences.
Robert Glaubitz, director of opera at Central, notes, “We chose ‘Starbird’ as our fall opera because the storyline and characters are so unique and the music is so beautiful. It’s a great show for kids or adults. My favorite part of working on the opera is watching each singer find their robot or animal character over the rehearsal process.”
Starbird has been called a “fetching space-age children’s fable” by Newsweek and “funny for both children and adults” by The Guardian.