When to see it
Coraline opens a mysterious door in her parents’ home to discover an Other World. It is inhabited by her Other Mother and Other Father, who have buttons instead of eyes. Everything seems better in the Other World – to start with, at least…
Coraline discovers that the Other Mother wants to trap her in the Other World forever, and has kidnapped Coraline’s real parents to try to force her hand. But Coraline tricks her and she and her parents finally escape safely back home.
Coraline is the latest opera from Mark-Anthony Turnage. Turnage is one of today’s leading composers and a highly successful opera writer, acclaimed internationally for works including Greek, The Silver Tassie and Anna Nicole, his first Covent Garden commission. For Coraline, his second work for The Royal Opera, he adapts a much-loved story by Neil Gaiman – a British writer who has transformed the landscape of fantasy literature with his highly imaginative, atmospheric and otherworldly narratives.
Coraline is classic Gaiman: it is packed with astonishing imagery, all wrapped up in an engrossing yarn. After its publication in 2002 Coraline swept up numerous awards, including Nebula and Hugo awards for Best Novella. In 2009 it was adapted into a stop-motion film directed by Henry Selick – which also received widespread acclaim. The world premiere of Turnage’s operatic adaptation is directed by Aletta Collins at the Barbican Theatre.