In March this year, Victorian Opera staged a new opera called Baby Bilby Singsto introduce babies and toddlers aged three and under to the artform. Then the coronavirus hit and subsequent performances had to be cancelled. Instead, the company has adapted the 30-minute performance into an interactive, online book about a curious native Australian bilby who burrows his way to different countries and meets operatic characters along the way. Throughout the story, children can activate music from operas including Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Delibes’ Lakmé, Verdi’s Rigoletto, and Donizetti’s T he Elixir of Love among others. There is also a chirpy refrain composed by VO’s Artistic Director Richard Mills. Ioanna Salmanidis, VO’s Education Manager, spoke to Limelightabout the new book.

An illustration by Mel Serjeant from the online book Baby Bilby Sings. Image courtesy of Victorian Opera

Baby Bilby Sings began as a new program for under threes in March this year. How long was the project in development?

We began working on the project in November last year and presented the program in March. It was an entirely new...