Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up, whisks away Wendy Darling and her brothers to Neverland to join his gang of Lost Boys. With the help of the mischievous fairy Tinker Belle, Peter Pan leads them all on great adventures – particularly against the fiendish Captain Hook.
They rescue Tiger Lily from Hook's clutches and finally vanquish the evil pirate. Mary leads the Lost Boys home to London, where they are all adopted by the Darling family – leaving Peter Pan far behind.
Peter Pan is part of the continuing collaboration between The Royal Opera and Welsh National Opera. Cornish composer Richard Ayres's opera was first performed in December 2013 by Stuttgart Opera and is now given its UK premiere in a new production by acclaimed director Keith Warner (The Royal Opera's Ring cycle and Wozzeck). Following on from the success of Ayres's previous family opera The Cricket Recovers (Aldeburgh Music, 2005), the composer has provided an energetic score full of colour and invention.
Ayres and his librettist, the award-winning poet Lavinia Greenlaw, shared memories of their own childhoods when they began work on Peter Pan, and these became the starting point for their own adaptation. The result is far from saccharine, returning to the danger, vibrancy and sheer anarchy of the J.M. Barrie original. Ayres has described how one of his greatest challenges as a composer has been ' to find a musical language that not only suits a world full of children, but also one that describes a bizarre, slightly disturbing and dreamlike world'.