An opera in three acts based on Rudyard Kipling's Baa Baa Black Sheep and The Jungle Book. Libretto by David Malouf, and piano reduction by Susan Bradshaw.
Michael Berkeley (b.1948)
"Baa Baa Black Sheep proved to be a more substanial, sympathetic and redemptive piece than I'd imagined possible...the clash of East vs West feeds purposefully into the score, which turnes on two conflicting sound worlds...probably the most successful recent, smaller-scale contemporary opera." - Michael White, The Independent on Sunday
"No need for ifs and buts: Baa Baa Black Sheep is a hearteningly successful new opera, and Michael Berkeley surely the most engaging operatic talent to have emerged since Judith Weir...A major event, I think." - Rodney Milnes, The Times
"Berkeley's score is always engaging to the ear. His finely tuned sense of instrumental colour is lushly exploited in music which
evokes the sights and sounds of the jungle with marvellous use of woodwinds, tuned percussion, Indian-sounding instruments, and an electronic synthesiser. The worlds of stiff Victorian England and the India to which Punch longs to return are starkly differentiated: Auntirosa's austere regime, with frequent birchings, calls forth a dissonant, grey music, which the jungle vibrates with sumptuous colour.
It is impossible to do justice to such a complex, multi-layered work in a single notice, but Baa Baa Black Sheep is a real opera and one which I hope to return to." - Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times