Just What Opera Was Missing: Baby Noises

Filed under: In The News, Weird But True

baby noises

"BabyO" combines recorded music with live singing. Credit: Getty Images

Mark Twain was no fan of opera. After watching a performance of Giuseppe Verdi's "Travatore," the author quipped it contained "that sort of intense but incoherent noise which always so reminds me of the time the orphan asylum burned down."

Hmmm ... Orphans. Babies.

Twain's remark may have given someone a very strange idea. Britain's Manchester Evening News reports the city will host a very unique opera. For babies.

Don't worry. Nothing is burning down, no matter what impression you might get from people fleeing the Manchester Opera House. However, producers of the show "BabyO" are literally banking on crowds staying glued to their seats -- and babies in the audience will play a vital role in making that happen.

According to the Evening News, the show combines recorded music with live singing and uses sounds and words that babies can understand, helping stimulate the beginning of language development. The show premieres during the Manchester International Festival.

Adult vocalists will recreate baby-friendly noises such as quacking ducks, splashing fish and buzzing bees, the newspaper reports. The audience -- children between 6 months and 2 years, and their parents -- will then be asked to gurgle along and crawl over a furry garden set, featuring hand puppets and a range of themed props.

Producers tell the Evening News exposing children to music boosts IQ, improves health and strengthens family ties.

The show's composer, Rachel Drury, tells the newspaper melody, rhythm and harmony attract babies' developing sense of hearing. She's looked at how nursery rhymes match operatic musical patterns.

Jennifer Cleary, the festival's head of creative learning, tells the Evening News "BabyO" is "a magical musical experience for young children."

"Creativity starts at a very young age and 'BabyO' offers mums and babies a fresh and fun environment to explore and enjoy music together," she adds.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.