By Michelle Hwu, Retail Co-ordinator
This spring at the Opera Shop at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, we're very excited to have a special selection of toy theatres from Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop in England: one being a presentation of Le nozze di Figaro, and the other being Cinderella. Internationally renowned for their whimsical toy theatres, Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop has been widening children's imaginations since the 1880s when the brand was founded by its namesake in London's Covent Garden.
Included within the each toy theatre set you'll find pieces that make up an opera's cast, set changes, props, and even plot summaries of the opera. The enclosed components have been specially designed to press out and slot together with no cutting or gluing necessary. Once the toy theatre is complete, the opera can be performed using your choice of recording and libretto.
In 1934, Le nozze di Figaro was the first opera performed by Glyndebourne. This toy theatre above, which can be found at the Opera Shop, is a beautiful working model of Le nozze di Figaro as it was performed at the new Glyndebourne Opera House in 1994. The toy theatre was designed by Mel Harris.
The second toy theatre, similar to the Glyndebourne model, brings the fairy tale of Cinderella to life. This theatre is one of Benjamin Pollock’s bestsellers, with beautifully designed sets with multiple layers.
Both toy theatres make a wonderful project for families to build together on a rainy day, and are great gifts for opera fans of every age. The Glyndebourne Opera House featuring Le nozze di Figaro is $60 including tax, and Jackson’s Pantomime Theatre of Cinderella is $35 including tax. Limited quantities of both toy theatres are currently on sale at the Opera Shop until the last performance of Dialogues des Carmélites on May 25.
The Opera Shop is located on the main floor of the Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, open before, during and (sometimes) after all performances. You can also shop for other COC items at our online Opera Shop!
Photos: (top) La nozze di Figaro; (middle) Pieces for La nozze di Figaro; (middle) Stage shot of La nozze di Figaro; (middle) Stage shot of Cinderella by Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop; (bottom) Cinderella instructions. Photos by Jeff Higgins and Michelle Hwu.
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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001