Fables – A Film Opera

20101028 Foto: Åsa WesterlundStreetwise Opera's filmshoot.
2010 - Fables 4
Co-production with Spitalfields Music
World premiere at Spitalifields Winter Festival, 17 December 2010

Toured during 2011 and 2012

About this production

Streetwise Opera’s 2010 production was our second venture into film and live performance following the success of My Secret Heart.

Fables – a film opera is a collection of four short films - 'The Hartlepool Monkey', 'The Nightingale and The Rose', 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' and 'Hey Come on Out!' - each created by Streetwise Opera's performers working with some of the most exciting composers and filmmakers in the UK.

Following its premiere at Shoreditch Church as part of Spitalfields Winter Festival, Fables toured as stand-alone films and as integrated film and live opera events in 2011 and 2012 to festivals and venues including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Latitude, BFI Southbank, Tête à Tête: the Opera Festival, Chelthenham Music Festival, Branchage Film Festival, London Short Film Festival and the Old Vic Vaults Festival.


The Boy Who Cried Wolf (traditional)

Music by Mira Calix
Film by Flat-e
Streetwise Opera performers from Crisis Skylight (London) and NOAH (Luton)
Professional cast includes Charmian Bedford, Nicola Wydenbach, Nigel Brookes, Rob Gildon and John Ward

The Nightingale and the Rose (Oscar Wilde)

Music by Emily Hall
Film by Gaëlle Denis
Streetwise Opera performers from The Passage, Connection at St Martins, Queen Mary Hostel (London)
Professional cast includes Mara Carlyle, Alice Grant and Oliver Coates (cello)

Hey! Come on Out! (Shinichi Hoshi)

Music by Orlando Gough
Film by Iain Finlay
Streetwise Opera performers from Booth Centre (Manchester) and ICC Nottingham
Professional cast includes Elise Dye, Melanie Pappenheim, Daniel Norman and George Ikediashi

The Hartlepool Monkey (traditional)

Music by Andy Mellon/Paul Sartin
Film by Tom Marshall
Streetwise Opera performers from Byker Bridge, Streetwise Choir, Virginia House (Newcastle) and Stages Academy (Middlesbrough)
With musicians from Bellowhead


‘Stories of survival, rebellion, greed and love come to life in a remarkable marriage of music and film.’

The Independent

‘In all these dramas the mix of skilled professionals and characterful amateurs, sturdy choruses and sophisticated backing, live performance and video, is fascinating.’

The Times

‘A joyful event, culminating in a thrilling rendition of a sea shanty by all four casts, lifting the church roof with exhilarating glee.’

The Telegraph

‘A glorious avant-garde show that was as musically interesting as it was spiritually stirring.’

The Evening Standard



Photos: Åsa Westerlund