Blackburn Music & Theatre Department to Present “Billy Goats Gruff” Opera for Children

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Blackburn College choir singing and standing on a platform, photographed on stage from the back of the stage facing towards the audience
By Office of Marketing & Public Relations
On November 3, 2022

The Blackburn College Department of Music & Theatre will perform an operatic production for children, “The Billy Goats Gruff” on Friday, November 18. This free performance is open to the public and will take place in Bothwell Auditorium at 7:00 pm

Raven Brooks, a Music major from Florissant, MO, is excited about the production as both a performer and someone working behind the scenes to bring the show to audiences as a faculty assistant in the Music & Theatre department. “”The Billy Goats Gruff” has an anti-bullying message and is a wonderful opportunity to be reminded of the importance of including everyone. It sends a great message, and it introduces young kids to the world of opera,” she said. 

Blackburn College’s production of “The Billy Goats Gruff” opera is directed by professional baritone Evan Bravos. Music for the show will be directed by Dr. Joseph Welch, Professor of Music at Blackburn. Prior to the official performance on November 18, Blackburn will offer special preview performances of the opera for more than 600 Macoupin County elementary school students.

The production is an adaptation by John Davies of the classic children’s story and Norwegian fairytale, “Three Billy Goats Gruff.” “During the course of the opera, the three Billy Goats consider how they might deal with the bully by avoiding him altogether and resolve to talk about the problem with grownups as soon as they’re able. In the end, however, strength of character and determination win the day,” Davies said of his adaptation. “It makes for some fun theater, though, and hopefully provides a point of departure for subsequent classroom discussion.” Davies repurposed selections from well-known operas composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini to help tell the tale.

The Friday, November 18 performance at 7:00 pm is free to the public and donations will be accepted. Visit the event page to reserve your spot.