Most recent performance
There are currently no scheduled performances of The Firework-Maker's Daughter. It was last on stage 10 December 2015—2 January 2016 as part of the Autumn 2015/16 season.
Lila desperately wants to be a firework-maker like her father Lalchand, but he claims it is no job for a girl. She runs away to learn the trade, followed by her friend Chulak and the lovesick white elephant Hamlet. Along the way they meet pirates, tigers and the terrifying Fire-Fiend.
Read more… (Contains spoilers)
Composer David Bruce and poet Glyn Maxwell turned to Philip Pullman’s acclaimed children’s novel The Firework-Maker’s Daughter for their 2013 opera. They had the perfect heroine in Lila, a bold and resourceful girl determined to achieve her dreams. Bruce weaves a colourful sound world of often breathtaking beauty around her perilous quest. Drawing inspiration from Pullman’s setting in a mystical Eastern land, Bruce incorporates gamelan, accordion and pentatonic scales into a score that delights and surprises in equal measure.
John Fulljames’s masterfully imaginative production was created in collaboration with designer Dick Bird and puppetry group Indefinite Articles. Shadow puppets and inventive light projections bring to life Lila’s world as she discovers the meaning of friendship in this operatic and visual delight, suitable for all ages.
News and features
30 December 2015
The centuries-old form continues to inspire, even into the 21st century through works such as The Firework-Maker’s Daughter.
8 December 2015
The award-winning author talks about his Eastern-inspired fairytale and the importance of introducing the arts to children.
1 December 2015
Our quick introduction to this family opera inspired by Philip Pullman’s captivating fairytale.
2 April 2013
Director John Fulljames on creating works specifically for young people.
7 March 2013
From Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to 1984: The Ballet, your fantasy works.
18 February 2013
A look at a new opera based on Philip Pullman's novel.
The Firework-Maker's Daughter is a 2013 chamber opera in two acts by David Bruce with a libretto by Glyn Maxwell based on the novel by Philip Pullman. It follows the adventures of Lila, a young girl who wishes to be a firework-maker like her father. The opera was co-commissioned by the Royal Opera House, London, and The Opera Group, and for its original run was co-produced by Opera North and The Opera Group in association with ROH2 and Watford Palace Theatre. The production, directed by John Fulljames, premiered at the Hull Truck Theatre in March 2013, before touring the UK and going to the New Victory Theater in New York City. The production was revived at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio in December 2015. The opera was shortlisted for the 2014 Olivier Awards for Best New Opera Production, and for a 2013 British Composer Awards in the Stage category.