Image of man in woods with an umbrella for Opera Season 2005

Almeida Opera 2005 The Cricket Recovers

by Richard Ayres, with text by Rozalie Hirs (from an original story by Toon Tellegen)
Ticket prices: £6 - £25
Wed 29 Jun 2005 - Mon 4 Jul 2005

We twinkle like the stars

   and we glitter like the river.


We're bubbling and rustling

   and buzzing and bustling...


Richard Ayres' opera brings to the stage cult Dutch writer Toon Tellegen's animal stories.


The Cricket wakes up one morning with a gloomy feeling in his head and doesn't know what it is, or how it got there. The elephant can't stop climbing trees, and he has to find a way to kick the habit. Both animals undertake a journey of personal discovery - seeking the opinions of friends, consulting quacks, and surviving dangerous cures, evil nocturnal visits and psychedelic visions.


Tellegen's deceptively simple tales are explorations of grief, joy and the immediacy of life.


Ayres' is a major new voice in contemporary music, a 'manic mélange of the familiar and strange' (Musical Times). He was featured at the 2000 Aldeburgh Festival and 2004's Huddersfield Festival. Surrealist animators the Quay Brothers and Music Theatre London founderer Nicholas Broadhurst accompany. His regular collaborator, Roland Kluttig, conducts.


"dazzlingly beautiful...immersed in a surreal, somnolent atmosphere caught halfway between myth and nightmare"

on the the work of the Quay Brothers


Music: Richard Ayres

Text: Rozalie Hirs (from an original story by Toon Tellegen)


Conductor: Roland Kluttig

Direction: Nicholas Broadhurst

Design: Quay Brothers

Lighting Design: Neil Austin


Cast: Allison Bell

         Anna Burford

         Joanna Burton

         Simon Butteriss

         Jonathan Gunthorpe

         Keith Miller

         Claire Wild

Arts Council England ASP Group