Learning Resources

There are a range of useful resources accompanying the score - backing tracks, word sheets (librettos) and instructions on how to make props and costumes – to help you stage your own Snappy Opera, regardless of previous experience.

Click on an opera to find out more and download your pack

Counting Sheep

Music: Jamie Man • Libret­to: Stephen Plaice

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for Count­ing Sheep. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera . You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
Count­ing Sheep writ­ten by Jamie Man and Stephen Plaice is a charm­ing and quirky Snap­py opera best suit­ed to younger chil­dren. The opera includes a group of sleep­less chil­dren too full on cheese and choco­late, a group of sheep who the chil­dren are count­ing to help them get off to sleep, and a group of ram­blers who aren’t very good at read­ing maps and get every­body con­fused. There is a walk-on role for a par­ent or teacher who fan­cies they would make a good shep­herd, and a woof­ing sheep­dog role for a par­tic­u­lar­ly ener­getic child. The com­ic inter­ven­tions by sheep and ram­blers final­ly give way to a celes­tial dance among the stars. The night-time set­ting and dream-like end­ing in Count­ing Sheep can be com­pli­ment­ed with as many stars and twin­kles and celes­tial props as you can muster.

Char­ac­ter groups
Sleep­ers
Sheep
Ram­blers
plus solo Shep­herd (teacher or par­ent)
with sheep dog (not a real one)

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

All vocals (Sleepers, Sheep and Ramblers) and piano

Piano only – Backing track

Counting Sheep 4 Counting Sheep photo credit Joanna Millington Counting sheep 2 photo credit Joanna Millington Counting Sheep 2 Counting Sheep 3 Counting Sheep 1

Fair Play

Music: Ray­mond Yiu • Libret­to: Rus­sell Plows

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for Fair Play. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera . You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
The fair has come to town, and after wait­ing all year the chil­dren are excit­ed to ride the waltzers, hook a duck and con­sume their favourite fair­ground treats, leav­ing a trail of lit­ter and plas­tic behind them. The chil­dren are dis­ap­point­ed when the fair­ground los­es pow­er, but this quick­ly turns to dread when an alien space­ship descends. Are the chil­dren doomed, or is the arrival of these strange beings the answer to all their problems? 

Char­ac­ter groups
Fair-Goers
The Fair
Aliens

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

All Vocals and Piano

Midi Audio Track

Cathy Q FBA50486 A5 AE 47 B1 A7 DA 8 DF6 F3 CEEFEE 1 Cathy Q 28599 C1 A 9 D7 B 4272 9148 BC5742 F1 D883 1 Cathy Q 9 B5 BA987 83 C0 4 DC7 B40 D EFE132 FC0 E6 B SO Logo NEW

Fox-Pop

Music and Libret­to: Ker­ry Andrew

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for Fox-Pop. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera. You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
Ker­ry Andrew wrote the words and music for Fox-Pop with lots of input from The Alder­ton Junior School in Loughton, Essex. The three char­ac­ter groups — Dogs, Cats and Fox­es — have got lots of atti­tude. The vocal writ­ing is a mash-up of singing, rap­ping and beat­box­ing and the musi­cal style is eclec­tic, with trash drum kit and a micro­phone. The Cats and the Dogs are hav­ing a rap bat­tle in the back­streets when the beat­box­ing Fox­es appear from behind the bins. No-one can under­stand what they’re say­ing though. When Chan­nel Paw News reports that some bacon’s been stolen and a baby’s been bit­ten, every­one accus­es the Fox­es. How­ev­er, when the Dogs and Cats real­ly lis­ten to the Fox­es, they realise that not only are they inno­cent but a bit like us actu­al­ly.” The piece ends with all three groups jam­ming hap­pi­ly together.

Char­ac­ter groups
Dogs
Cats
Fox­es
plus one solo squir­rel with Chan­nel Paw News team
plus one solo beat­box­ing Fox

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

All vocals (Dogs, Cats and Foxes) and piano

Dogs and piano

Cats and piano

Foxes and piano

Piano only – Backing track

Fox Pop Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 4 Fox Pop Bridlington Spa 3 Fox Pop Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly Fox Pop Leicester 4 Fox Pop Leicester 2 Fox Pop Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 3 Fox Pop Leicester 3 Fox Pop Leicester Fox Pop Bridlington Spa 2 Fox Pop Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 2 Fox Pop Bridlington Spa

Machine Dream

Music: Nathan Williamson • Libret­to: Zanib Mian

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for Machine Dream. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera. You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
The Machine Dream was com­posed by Nathan Williamson with words by Zanib Mian. There’s lots of juicy singing in this Snap­py, three dis­tinct char­ac­ter groups; Humans, Machines and Smog and oppor­tu­ni­ties for prop­er chore­og­ra­phy. The tired Humans build fan­tas­tic machines to ease their work-load but the machines cre­ate nasty smog which threat­ens the Humans’ very exis­tence. No num­ber of crazy, eccen­tric ideas can solve the prob­lem of how to get rid of the Smog. This piece can spark a live­ly dis­cus­sion around cli­mate change and envi­ron­men­tal issues dur­ing the rehearsal process. Instead of find­ing a con­clu­sion at the end of this opera, every­one is left ask­ing the per­ti­nent ques­tion; so what do we do?

Char­ac­ter groups
Humans
Machines
Smog

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

All vocals (Humans, Machines and Smog) and piano

Humans and piano

Smog and piano

Machines and piano

Piano only – Backing track

Machine Dream Leicester Machine Dream Cumbria Machine Dream Leicester 5 Machine Dream Cumbria 3 Machine Dream Leicester 2 Machine Dream Cumbria 2 Machine Dream Leciester 4 Machine Dream Leciester 3

Peck!

Music: Stephen Dea­z­ley • Libret­to: Matthew Harvey

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for Peck. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera . You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
PECK! by com­pos­er Stephen Dea­z­ley and poet Matt Har­vey is full to the brim with tunes, action and fun. Three very colour­ful char­ac­ter groups; the greedy Bak­ers, the lazy Tourists and the exot­ic Song­birds pro­vide excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ties for cos­tume and props mak­ing. The sto­ry takes place in the real sea­side town of Sen­nen in Corn­wall. Every sum­mer the tourists come to the Heav­en­ly Bak­ery in Sen­nen to guz­zle cake and lis­ten to the beau­ti­ful song of the famous Song­birds, who hap­pi­ly munch on the crumbs left by the Tourists. But the greedy Bak­ers want sum­mer in Sen­nen to last all year long so that they can make more mon­ey. The Tourists are very hap­py to help if it means more sticky buns for them. Their das­tard­ly plan to trap the Song­birds comes unstuck though when one brave lit­tle song­bird realis­es that the only way out of the dan­ger is to PECK! Final­ly, the Bak­ers and Tourists are taught that they can’t have their cake and eat it and come to a very sticky end…

Char­ac­ter groups
Bak­ers
Tourists
Song­birds

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

All vocals (Bakers, Tourists and Songbirds) and piano

Bakers and piano

Songbirds and piano

Tourists and piano

Piano only – Backing track

Peck Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 2 Peck Peck Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly Peck Rosehill Peck Leicester Peck Rosehill 3 Peck Rosehill 2 Peck Leicester 4 Peck Nevill Holt Peck Leicester 3 Peck 3 Peck Leicester 2 Peck 2

The Big History of Little England

Music: Philip Ven­ables • Libret­to: Ted Huff­man

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for The Big His­to­ry of Lit­tle Eng­land. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera . You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
The Big His­to­ry of Lit­tle Eng­land by Phil Ven­ables and Ted Huff­man is a whis­tle-stop tour of the entire his­to­ry of Eng­land crammed into ten min­utes (well, 17 actu­al­ly). As a result, the per­for­mance style is not like oth­er Snap­py Operas. Instead of spe­cif­ic char­ac­ter groups, the cast are split into two even groups, each tak­ing on lots of dif­fer­ent roles; the invad­ing hordes of Romans, Vikings, Anglo-Sax­ons, dark mat­ter float­ing through space before the big bang, the Kings and Queens of Eng­land, the poor peo­ple caught by the Black Plague, Punk Rock­ers and many more. Even the audi­ence have a role to play, tak­ing on the recur­ring main role in Eng­lish his­to­ry – sheep! There is a voice-over nar­ra­tion which needs to be record­ed by a mem­ber of the cast in advance of per­for­mance and is then inte­grat­ed into the many sound effects. Some text is devised by the per­form­ers (their hopes and dreams for the future) and there is a lot of oth­er spo­ken text mak­ing this feel more like a piece of music the­atre than a con­ven­tion­al opera. Each scene is con­struct­ed in a way that feels more like play­ing a game than a scene. Over­all, the process of rehear­ing this Snap­py requires a par­tic­u­lar method and sen­si­tiv­i­ty as well as, of course, a good knowl­edge of the his­to­ry of England!

Char­ac­ter groups
Group 1
– var­i­ous roles includ­ing invaders and Kings and Queens of Eng­land
Group 2
– var­i­ous roles includ­ing set­tlers and poor peo­ple killed by the plague
Every­one plays many oth­er var­i­ous roles through­out his­to­ry and there are enough solo speak­ing roles for every­one to have a go if required plus one pre-record­ed solo nar­ra­tor part

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

Full Narration

War after War (vocals and piano)

God Save Me Me Me... (vocals and piano)

God Save Me Me Me... (piano only)

Big History Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 3 Big History Big History Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly Big History Leicester Big History Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 2 Big History Leicester 2 Big History Nottingam Playhouse Big History 2

The Feast That Went Off With A Bang

Music: Ed Hugh­es • Libret­to: Peter Cant

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for The Feast That Went Off With A Bang. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera. You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
The Feast That Went Off With A Bang writ­ten by Ed Hugh­es and Peter Cant is a fun­ny and sur­re­al fairy tale fea­tur­ing three very char­ac­ter­ful groups; Birds, Mice and Sausages, pro­vid­ing excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ties for cos­tume mak­ing and move­ment work. Inspired by the Grimm Brother’s tale, the Birds, Mice and Sausages all live togeth­er in per­fect har­mo­ny, until now. Just like in all fam­i­lies, ten­sion is nev­er far away espe­cial­ly when it comes to the issue of house­hold chores. Unfor­tu­nate­ly for our strange cast of char­ac­ters all ends as you might expect in dis­as­ter, with a warn­ing for us all – nev­er eat a mouse that has eat­en a sausage that is filled to the brim with gunpowder.

Char­ac­ter groups
Mice
Sausages
Birds

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

All vocals (Birds, Mice and Sausages) and piano

Piano only – Backing track

Birds and piano

Mice and piano

Sausages and piano

Feast Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington Feast North Tyneside Feast Feast Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 5 Feast North Tyneside 2 Feast Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 4 Feast Nevill Holt Feast Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 3 Feast Leicester Feast Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 2 Feast Leicester 2 Feast Cumbria

The Itch Witch

Music: Emi­ly Hall • Libret­to: Toby Litt

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for The Itch Witch. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera. You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
The Itch-Witch writ­ten by Emi­ly Hall and Toby Litt tells an age-old epic bat­tle between head-lice and the hairy heads of chil­dren. Nits rule! Three char­ac­ter­ful groups tell the sto­ry; the itchy Nits that car­ry out the orders of their mis­tress the Itch-Witch, the long-suf­fer­ing Chil­dren who just want to go to bed and the valiant Combs who go into bat­tle with the nits. There is lots of oppor­tu­ni­ty for phys­i­cal play from sneaky nits, hero­ic combs and sleepy whingey chil­dren. It’s a scritchy scratchy sto­ry that brings a shud­der to all par­ents, car­ers and teach­ers. Will the combs even­tu­al­ly tri­umph over the nits? What do you think?

Char­ac­ter groups
Chil­dren
Nits
Combs

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

All vocals (Children, Nits and Combs) and piano

Piano only – Backing track

Children and piano

Nits and piano

Combs and piano

Itch Witch Cumbria 3 Itch Witch Nottingham Playhouse Itch Witch NMB Itch Witch Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington Itch Witch Cumbria 2 Itch Witch Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 3 Itch Witch Cumbria Itch Witch Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 2 Itch Witch North Tyneside

The Lighthouse Wave

Music and Libret­to: Errol­lyn Wallen

Syn­op­sis
This Snap­py Opera is based on a true sto­ry about a light­house at the edge of the world. Joan is the Prin­ci­pal Light­house Keep­er and is devot­ed to her work of look­ing after the light­house. She keeps hens and has a dog, Dora and also a cat, Miss Quinn. The Light­house has a court­yard where the ani­mals play and where Joan hangs up her wash­ing. Every­one knows that the light in a light­house needs con­stant clean­ing and care to make sure that ships and boats can see it and are kept safe.

One night how­ev­er, there was an incred­i­ble storm and it seemed as if the sea was boil­ing. The sky was pitch black and the wind tore through the night, rat­tling and shriek­ing. Every­one was shiv­er­ing with cold and fright. Then a freak wave washed right over the light­house.

What hap­pened when the light went out? What hap­pened to Dora, Miss Quinn and the hens? Where was the wash­ing? And what became of Joan, the brave light­house keeper?

Char­ac­ter groups
Joan, Miss Quinn, Dora & the Hens
Grass & Wash­ing on the Line
Wind & Waves
With oppor­tu­ni­ties for solos

Lighthouse Wave Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington Lighthouse Wave Cumbria Lighthouse Wave NT Lighthouse Wave Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 2 Lighthouse Wave Cumbria 2 Lighthouse Wave NT 2 Lighthouse Wave Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 3 Lighthouse Wave Cumbria 3 Lighthouse Wave NT 3 Lighthouse Wave Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 4 Lighthouse Wave NT 4 Lighthouse Wave Cumbria 4 Lighthouse Wave NT 5

The Magical Music Tree

Music: Luke Carv­er Goss • Libret­to: Ian McMil­lan

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for The Mag­i­cal Music Tree. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera. You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
The Mag­i­cal Music Tree was writ­ten by poet Ian MacMil­lan and com­pos­er Luke Carv­er Goss incor­po­rat­ing lots of sto­ry and music ideas devel­oped in work­shops with chil­dren from Haver­hill in Suf­folk. This Snap­py Opera has two sets of char­ac­ter groups, a band of hunters and a col­lec­tion of three kinds of myth­i­cal crea­tures; dodos, uni­corns and fly­ing fish who all find a home and sanc­tu­ary in the heart of the woods in the shape of the Mag­i­cal Music Tree. In an attempt to cap­ture these prized crea­tures, the hunters decide to blow up the tree (not good). Obvi­ous­ly, they’re not music lovers, not yet any­way. Amidst quite a lot of flap­ping and squawk­ing the wise uni­corns even­tu­al­ly come up with a cun­ning plan that has every­one singing in har­mo­ny. The cos­tume and char­ac­ter pos­si­bil­i­ties in The Mag­i­cal Music Tree are very rich and full of fan­ta­sy and charm. There is a lot of oppor­tu­ni­ty for play­ful move­ment-based work and prop mak­ing too. The rous­ing final cho­rus – We are the music! is full of joy and always gets a cheer at the end of the show.

Char­ac­ter groups
Mag­i­cal crea­tures — Dodo, Fly­ing Fish, Uni­corn
Hunters

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

All vocals (Magical Creatures and Hunters) and piano

Piano only – Backing track

Magical Creatures and piano

Hunters and piano

MMT Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington Magical Music Tree Villages Music Festival photo credit Sam Stephenson MMT North Tyneside MMT Cumbria 3 Magical Music Tree Villages Music Festival photo credit Peter Cripps MMT Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 2 Magical Music Tree Villages Music Festival photo credit Peter Cripps 2 MMT Cumbria 4 MMT North Tyneside 2 MMT Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 3 MMT Cumbria 2 MMT North Tyneside 3 MMT Norfolk photo credit Joanna Millington 4 MMT Cumbria

The World's Beating Heart

Music and Libret­to: Gwyneth Her­bert

Wel­come to the Snap­py Operas learn­ing resources for The World’s Beat­ing Heart. Here you can down­load mate­ri­als to help sup­port the learn­ing of this ten-minute Snap­py Opera. You’ll find a score, libret­to, audio tracks and design pack (to inspire cos­tumes & props) that can be shared with teach­ers, lead­ers and young people.

Syn­op­sis
The World’s Beat­ing Heart was cre­at­ed by Gwyneth Her­bert with bril­liant ideas from Sev­en Mills Pri­ma­ry School in Tow­er Ham­lets. The three sur­re­al char­ac­ter groups pro­vide for lots of fun phys­i­cal­i­ty. The Bãn­dor Mea­gles are half-mon­key, half-eagle and are hap­py all the time. The Zado­ran­tha are half-pan­ther, half-drag­on­fly and are always mis­er­able. The Sãp­pa­clon­key are the mys­te­ri­ous crea­tures who are on their way to vis­it – part don­key, part rat­tle-snake, part clown­fish. The names of the char­ac­ters are hybrid words made up from the Eng­lish and Ben­gali words for the ani­mals. The Bãn­dor Mea­gles and Zado­ran­tha live togeth­er at the bot­tom of the ocean, at the world’s beat­ing heart. (Liv­ing togeth­er but not exact­ly see­ing eye to eye.) The sound of the arriv­ing Sãp­pa­clon­key sends both the Bãn­dor Mea­gles and the Zado­ran­tha into a man­ic pan­ic – the Bãn­dor Mea­gles are in total denial and the Zado­ran­tha pre­dict total dis­as­ter. In fact, when the Sãp­pa­clon­key arrive their bizarre, mag­i­cal dance teach­es the oth­ers how impor­tant it is in life to be able both to laugh AND cry. The show ends with a vibrant con­ga car­ni­val so you can go real­ly wild with the cos­tume-mak­ing for this one.

Char­ac­ter groups
Bãn­dor Mea­gles
Zado­ran­tha
Sãp­pa­clon­key

Resource downloads

Audio downloads

All vocals (Bãndor Meagles, Zadorantha and Sãppaclonkey) and piano

Piano only – Backing track

Bãndor Meagles and piano

Zadorantha and piano

Sãppaclonkey and piano

WBH Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 4 WBH Cumbria WBH Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 5 WBH Cumbria 2 WBH Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly WBH Cumbria 3 WBH Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 3 WBH Bridlington Spa 2 WBH Tower Hamlets photo credit Izzy Romilly 2 WBH Bridlington Spa
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