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Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC
www.chancelopera.com
 

CHILDREN'S OPERAS: The Twelve Dancing Princesses

 
 

THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES

a children’s musical play based on Grimm tale

libretto by Michael Lerner and Jennifer Schlusberg

music by Susan Hulsman Bingham

NOTE: This opera comes in two versions. The original, for a smaller cast, is more classical and sticks closer to the original tale. The larger-cast version, an adaptation of the original by storyteller/director/playwright Ellen and Arjuna Greist, has a delightful contemporary feel. Give us a call to see which one will best suit your needs. The first version listed below is the shorter version. Scroll down to see the synopsis and cast list for the long version. SHB

Three of the twelve dancing princesses at our most recent production by students of
Worthington Hooker Elementary School
New Haven, Connecticut, May, 2001:
l to r: Sharoda Worby-Selim, Lei Ma, Laura Clampitt

VOICING:

 

Treble soloists, ages 9-12; treble chorus

CAST:

 

Narrator, King, Harold, Ernest, Twelve Princesses, Corporal Donamirth, Old Woman

ACCOMPANIMENT:

 

piano

CHORUS:

 

treble chorus, all acting

DANCE:

 

yes

PROPS:

 

minimal and homespun

SOURCE OF TEXTS:

 

Grimm tale

LANGUAGE:

 

English

MUSICAL STYLE:

 

tonal, melodic, lyrical

SOUND SAMPLES:

 

Click here to hear a sample from a live performance.
Click here for a second sample.

SCENES:

 

five

DURATION:

 

50 minutes

PREMIER:

 

Foote School Summer Theater Program, New Haven, CT, 1988; expanded version with additional libretto by Ellen and Arjuna Greist was performed at Yale University's Sprague Memorial Hall, 1995, and the Conte/West Hills Middle School in May of 2001 by students of Worthington Hooker Elementary School.

 

SYNOPSIS OF THE ORIGINAL (small cast) VERSION

 

Twelve princesses are found to be wearing out their shoes at a very fast rate. It is announced that whoever can discover the reason for this will win his first choice of the princesses as his wife.

Many suitors apply and are wined and dined so lavishly by the princesses that they fall asleep and are unable to perform their mission.

Finally a young man arrives who is not to be distracted. He pretends to drink the intoxicating potion and pretends to fall asleep, whereupon the princesses tiptoe through a secret passage to an enormous hall where they dance all night.

The suitor has a cloak which makes him invisible. He follows the princesses and even dances with them, though they cannot see him. Finally he discloses the truth and wins his choice of the princesses for his bride.

 

Musical score, short version: $75. Price includes shipping within the US. Price also includes performing rights and permission to make sufficient copies for cast and accompanists within one group or company for one season.




Downloadable PDF file of short version of Twelve Dancing Princesses: $40.


DVD of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, short version: $28. Includes shipping and handling within the U.S.


 

 

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SYNOPSIS of the EXPANDED
(larger cast) VERSION
 

Eleven of twelve Brothers, who are Fishermen, are put under a spell, and their youngest brother, Candor, goes in search for them.

Meanwhile, twelve Princesses are found to be wearing out their shoes at a very fast rate. It is announced that whoever can discover the reason for the worn-out shoes will win one of the Princesses as his wife. Prince Rufus applies first, but the Princesses, eager to continue their nightly dancing, lace his wine with a sleeping potion, and Rufus sleeps through the night and fails to discover the reason for the worn-out shoes.

One day Candor, the youngest of the Fishermen/ Brothers, arrives at the Palace. He has been instructed by a Sorceress not to drink the intoxicating potion. His act of falling asleep is so convincing that the Princesses tiptoe, as always, through their secret passage to the enormous hall where they dance all night. Candor follows, wearing a cloak given him by the Sorceress which makes him invisible. In the great hall, he not only discovers the reason why the Princesses' slippers are worn out: he finds his eleven long-lost Brothers who, bewitched, have been dancing with the Princesses these many nights. The truth of the slippers is told, and not only may Candor choose a Princess for his bride: all of his Brothers are invited to choose one as well!

 

 

Sailors in the Worthington Hooker School production of PRINCESSES, June, 2001
 
Christina Staklo as the Wizard
 

Musical score, longer version: $75. Price includes shipping within the US. Price also includes performing rights and permission to make sufficient copies for cast and accompanists within one group or company for one season.



Downloadable PDF file of musical score: $40.

DVD of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, longer version: $28. Includes shipping and handling within the U.S.


Narrators, Fractal (a Sorceress), Abaya (Fractal's daughter), Verboten (Fractal's Rival Sorcerer), Prince Rufus (the First Applicant), Harold, (King's Servant), King Umlaut of Oopsala, Tree (two people plus Fractal), 12 Princesses, 12 Fishermen/Princes, Shoemakers, Townspeople. There are speaking parts for fifty or more children.

 

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