Following on the success of her two operatic works for children and teens – Douce et Barbe Bleue, Les Fables Enchantées, Little Thummie and Cendrillon (based on Perrault), as well as the adaptation of Maupassant’s short story The Dumpling (2014) – Isabelle Aboulker once again hits the bull’s eye with Myla and the Boat-Tree, a commission from the Villecroze Music Academy. In 2015, this musical tale for narrator, children’s choir and instrumental accompaniment, was awarded the “Music for Young Performers Prize” by the French Music Publishers Association. Both in the French version and Marci Meth’s excellent English translation, it provides the material for an enthralling educational adventure in which children between the ages of five and eight are invited into their first experience of opera and choir singing.
With her trademark finesse and sensitivity, the composer tells the story of a little girl dealing with the death of a person she’d cherished above all: her grandfather. Written for choir in unison, this tale wafts shimmering melodies over an instrumental accompaniment suffused in turn with gentle melancholy and light humour. An art that speaks from an open heart.
The work was written in four versions:
- for narrator, children’s choir and piano (AL 30 732)
- for narrator, children’s choir and trio (clarinet in B b, cello and piano: AL 30 733)
- for narrator, children’s choir and instrumental ensemble (flute, oboe, clarinet in B b, bassoon, horn, trumpet in C, trombone, percussion, 2 violins, alto, cello, bass: AL 30 734)
- Choral score: AL 30 743