Critic’s Choice

Tue Jan 22, 2019 at 4:00 pm
By Edward Reichel

Grace Kahl is The Rose and Nitai Fluchel is “The Little Prince” in the Utah Opera premiere. Photo: Dana Sohm/Utah Opera

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince has been a beloved children’s book ever since its publication in 1943. But it took 60 years before it became an opera, and it was well worth the wait. 

Academy Award-winning composer Rachel Portman and librettist Nicholas Wright transformed the novella it into a captivating two-act opera now having its Utah Opera debut at the Capitol Theatre. Staying close to the original, the opera captures the magic, humor and fantasy of the text, and will enchant both children and adults in its creative score and clever dialogue. Sets and costumes designed by Jacob A. Climer specifically for this production complement the vivid imagery that Portman and Wright have created. 

The title role is sung by 11-year-old Nitai Fluchel, a fifth grader at the Madeleine Choir School, who gives a heartwarming performance as the boy who roams the universe in search of wisdom and knowledge. Baritone Jared Bybee is wonderful as the Pilot and narrator, and there is a strong supporting cast including a delightful children’s choir consisting of many of Nitai’s schoolmates.

The Little Prince runs through January 27 at the Capitol Theatre with performances Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.; 801-355-2787.

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