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The Little Mermaid opera

International School of the Algarve, Ideias do Levante and the Municipality of Lagoa will be presenting The Little Mermaid, an opera by Gita Nasta, inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, next month.

The opera is being staged to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the International School of the Algarve and the 14th anniversary of The Lagoa Choral Festival week.

The music, which moves between the styles of light classical and musical comedy, is constantly melodic. After its highly successful Brussels premiere, The Little Mermaid opened the Waterford International Opera Festival in Ireland. This will be its first performance in Portugal.

The Little Mermaid is one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved characters and will enchant audiences from six to 106.

The opera will be performed by 50 talented singers between the ages of seven and 70. The cast includes 22 adults drawn from Ideias do Levante, Coral Adágio and other choirs joined by 28 talented younger singers from the International School of the Algarve.

The opera in three acts, composed and directed by Gita Nasta, is accompanied by an ensemble of harp, piano, violin, violoncello, clarinet and flute under the baton of António Alves.

Principal roles are played by Francisco Brazão, Anicée Defrance and Maria Saramango from Portugal, joined by Owen Davies and Lazina Gheyselinck from London.

The plot

Mermaids, guppies, exotic fish and sea plants, crabs, sea snails, octopus and seals attend ceremonies at the Underwater Palace of the Mer-King.

The Little Mermaid is fascinated by life above the Sea. She rescues a Human Prince when his ship founders in a storm. She falls in love with him and sells her voice to a wicked Witch in exchange for human legs and dancing feet.

Life above sea in the Royal Palace, where spoilt, sophisticated nobles attend balls and dances every evening, is confusing and complex. However, the Little Mermaid persists with her plan to make the Prince fall in love with her.

In vain, her Father the Mer-king and his whole family beg her to return to the Sea. The Little Mermaid follows her Prince to the Orient and it is there that she meets her final destiny.

Performances will take place at 8pm on Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12 in the Lagoa Municipal Auditorium. The auditorium has a capacity of 300 seats and the school regrets that children under six cannot be admitted.

Further information and tickets (free of charge but must be reserved) may be obtained from the International School of the Algarve (282 342 547) and the ticket office at the Convento S. José (282 380 473).