Greek / Cyprus
Ē opera tēs Mantaras
(The Helter-Skelter Opera)
Michaēlidēs, Phrixos (Michailidis, Frixos) (text/illus.)
Leukōsia (Nicosia): Parga, 2014. – 131 p.
Opera – Love – Discrimination – Tolerance
An animals-only musical society is working feverishly on a bold new opera project. Octopi gamely tune their violins, fishes run choir practices, soprano ostriches and baritone bears compete for the leads. The libretto’s tragic cat and dog love story resonates in real life in the hopeless love between a tenor horse and a mask-maker donkey, whose work makes the premiere into a huge success thanks to a surprise ending. Enthralled by the music and the romance, a delighted lion reporter – actually quite a philistine – writes an enthusiastic review. The burlesque turmoil is captured both in the text and in the illustrations, the latter through the playful use of geometric shapes. Frixos Michailidis cleverly and wittily introduces readers to the world of opera using language children will respond to. In his hands, opera becomes the ideal stage upon which tolerance and sense of community oust discrimination and prejudice. (Age: 7+)