Putnu opera — The Birds’ Opera — is an opera for children which has been sell-out hit at the Latvian National Opera ever since I directed the premiere on December 22, 2000. By now, every child in Latvia knows the songs by heart.
The story is based on Dr. Dolittle, and the plot revolves around a lost canary and an opera performed by birds.With a libretto by renowned author Māra Zālīte, the music is by the popular composer Jānis Lūsēns. Designed by the formidable Ieva and Kristīne Jurjānes, they warmed the audiences with their intensely colour-saturated sets, and made them laugh with a monster cauliflower and psychedelic costumes.
I brought the Canadian lighting designer Paul Mathiesen to Latvia who worked on a lighting palette inspired by Mark Rothko.
The show was nominated for Best Production by the Latvian critics’ and delights young spectators with its exuberant imagery and sheer fun to this day. In 2005, I re-staged the Opera for the castle ruins in Cēsis.
More information about the show can be found on the Latvian National Opera website.
A DVD of the production is available with English subtitles.