Vasya Whitefeet is an opera written for, and to be performed by, children. Based on the Russian-Romany tale of the same name, the work is designed for staging by youngsters with a modicum of musical ability. The work was commissioned by Sarah Beernink for the Muziekschool Noordwest Veluwe, Netherlands. The vocal lines are all composed within a preadolescent child’s range (c' to e-flat"). Instrumentation requires piano four-hands, violin, tambourine, triangle, and large bodhran. The piano score incorporates mostly static hand positions, and the violin parts are entirely in first position (though a moderate degree of facility is required). The percussion parts are easily played by any child with an adequate understanding of rhythm and meter. The opera (which is more of a musical play) is in one act with seven scenes which alternate between two settings that may be constructed on a single stage, requiring no actual changes of scenery. Performance time is approximately 45 minutes.
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