The Happy Prince

happPrince190.jpgThe Happy Prince is an allegorical children's opera by Malcolm Williamson, based on the story of the same name by Oscar Wilde.

Produced and performed by the Michigan Opera Theatre Children's Chorus. Visit



Production Team

Conductor - Dianna Hochella 

Director - Michael Yashinsky

Pianist - Joseph Jackson

Second Pianist - John Pavik

Set Design - Monika Essen

Costume Design - Suzanne Hanna

Lighting Design - Bobby Tacoma

Hair and Makeup Design - Elizabeth Geck

Stage Manager - Nan Luchini

Supertitles - Dee Dorsey


In order of vocal appearance

The Mayor: Miles Eichenhorn
(Emily Crombez)

The Swallow: Aurora Haziri

The Prince: Antonio Cipriano
(Miles Eichenhorn)

The Seamstress’ Son: Isabel Rocha

The Seamstress: Anya Chudov
(Arielle Sturr)

A Rich Girl: Cassia Burley
(Emily Finkelstein)

The Author: Ameerah Shakoor
(Tyler Bouque)

The Matchgirl: Christina Wallag
(Marielle Hill)

Parentheses denote understudies.

Jamila Ammary
Tyler Bouque
Cassia Burley
Anya Chudov
Sarah Cohen
Emily Crombez
Kristen Dubicki
Elizabeth Duus
Katherine Espin
Emily Finkelstein
Amie Heitchue
Teagan Lewis
Kristina Nash
Madeleine Reardon
Marcella Staricco
Arielle Sturr
Svetha Subbiah
Lauren Ward

Cooper Blankenburg
Ryan Blankenburg
Clare Brees-Oswald
Anna Chisholm
Natalie Corrigan
Gabrielle Feber
Emma Fredin
Katherine Fuller
Alexandra Hardin
Aurora Haziri
Marielle Hill
Riley Klauza
Ryan Kotlinski
Rachel Kret
Rachel Miltimore
Aditya Nambiar
John O’Dell
Danielle Phillips
Isabel Rocha
Isabelle Ross
SteFannie Savoy
Ameerah Shakoor
Jade Sibert
Caitlin Simonds
Christina Wallag
Ashley Wigton
Annie Youngs

Alexandra Aubin
Hayden Barry
Brandon Cahee
Maria Cheriyan
Caroline Cooney
Lauren Cooper
Melissa Corrigan
Edward Eichenhorn
Sydney Elms
Rebecca Feber
Jaeden Footitt
Jehnya Footitt
Zoë Frazier
Emma Guzman
Andreana Hardin
Colette Henry
Madelynn Lixie
Josie Monahan
Myles Sherwin Mathews
Emily Robinson
Kevyn Roessler
Hannah Russell
Charlotte Salisbury
Zayda Schneider
Klare Siple
Grace Tavi
Benjamin Ward
Olivia Washington


In the public square of a battered city, children dream of a better world. For solace, they look to the statue of the Happy Prince. The ruby on his sword- hilt, the sapphires in his eyes, and the gold leaf covering his form remind them of an angel. One night while migrating south for winter, a carefree Swallow rests at the statue’s feet. The Prince speaks to the Swallow, revealing that when alive, he lived a life of pleasure secluded in a great mansion, and was deemed happy. But pleasure is not happiness, and now that he has been placed above the city and can see all of its desperation, his name has become truly unfitting. He begs the Swallow to carry out a single errand: plucking out his ruby and bringing it to a feverish boy whose mother cannot afford nourishing food. This the bird does, and returns. The Prince asks the Swallow to help him with but one more sacrifice: removing one of his sapphire-eyes, and delivering it to a starving author who, numb with cold, cannot finish his play. This, too, the Swallow does, and though the weather grows ever icier, returns to the Prince. The statue now begs the bird to extract his other eye and take it to a penniless matchgirl whose wares have fallen into the street. Though hating to do the Prince harm, the Swallow does as told, and flies the sapphire to the grateful girl.

The Prince is now blind, and encourages his friend the Swallow finally to fly south. But the Swallow, near frozen in body but warmed of heart, promises never to leave the Prince. And so the Prince asks the Swallow to do him, and the people, one more kindness --pecking out all of his gold leaf, and distributing it among the suffering populace. The Swallow does so, and now, having stayed too long in the wintry metropolis, dies. The Prince’s heart breaks. The Mayor orders the bird and dulled statue incinerated, for that which “is no longer no longer useful.” The people watch, stunned, as the bird and the heart of the statue, though consumed in flame, do not burn. A band of angels descends and declares the dead Swallow and the leaden heart of the Prince the two most precious things in the city.

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