2012-13 season

Britten Festival: Celebrating Benjamin Britten's 100th birthday!

Let's Make an Opera &
The Little Sweep

Cast photo of Children and Chimney Sweeps

A Play and an Opera – What a wonderful adventure!

Music by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by Eric Crozier

March 2 to 10, 2013, at the Belfry Theatre


CBC RADIO REVIEW by Monica Prendergast.

  Monday Magazine Cover: Let's Make an Opera

THEATRICAL MASH-UP, Monday Magazine's cover story on Let's Make an Opera / The Little Sweep


This co-production between Pacific Opera Victoria and the Belfry Theatre is chock-full of firsts: It's the Belfry's first opera. It's the first time POV has put on any of these Britten works. It's the first time the parents of 12-year-old Jared Reis (Sam, the little sweep) discovered the extent of their son's singing talent.

Includes Interviews with cast members about the challenges and joys of putting on this unique combination of play and opera. Read more.


Conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia and Director Michael Shamata discuss Benjamin Britten's Let's Make an Opera / The Little Sweep, a co-production between Pacific Opera Victoria and the Belfry Theatre, to be presented March 2 to 10, as part of the Britten Festival in celebration of the composer's 100th birthday..


The play Let's Make an Opera portrays an adventure in collaboration, as kids and grownups create an opera they will perform together. They learn to write words that sing. They hold auditions, wrangle sets and costumes, and survive the chaos and panic of the dress rehearsal.

The Little Sweep is the actual opera, the tale of a young sweep who gets stuck up a chimney and is rescued by plucky children who plot to keep him safe from his brutal master.

This is a story of courage and kindness, leavened with laughter and the thrill of creating a real live opera. The cast included professional opera singers, children – and the audience, who joined in as the chorus!

Study Guide

With Rebekah Janzen, Jared Reis, Jacob Holloway, Anthony Wagner, Molly Lydon, Antonia Neatby, Riccardo Fabris, Christian Turpin, Tori Farkas, Abigail Bowering.



Cast Photo: Children and Sweeps

Cast Photo: Children and Sweeps. Photo: David Bukach


Michael Colvin and Giles Tomkins as Clem and the Sweepmaster

Michael Colvin and Giles Tomkins as Clem and the Sweepmaster. Photo: David Bukach

  Juliet stages a faint

Juliet stages a faint. Charlotte Corwin as Rowan, Mary-Ellen Rayner as Juliet, Rebecca Hass as Miss Baggott. Photo: David Bukach


Struggling to move the trunk

It's time to move the trunk. Why is it so heavy? Photo: David Bukach


Riding off to a happy ending

Riding off to a happy ending. Photo: David Bukach