Farewell To The Manchester International Festival

Team BanbinO
Timothy Connor, Laura Sergeant, Me, Martin Wooley, David Sneddon, Stuart Semple

It is hard to believe that our time here in Manchester has come to an end.  We have performed in Manchester, Wigan, Hyde, Heywood, Oldham, finishing today in Salford.  The staff and Volunteers from the Manchester International Festival have been fantastic and made us feel so welcome at each venue.

MIF Volunteer
Me with Gwyneth, One Of The MIF Volunteers

Today we all said goodbye as we went our separate ways for a couple of weeks before we get back together again in Glasgow to prepare for the Edinburgh Festival.  We start our first performances there on the 8th August and run through to 20th August 2017.

Team BanbinO 02
Sam Phillips, Laura Sergeant, Timothy Connor, Me, Stuart Semple, Sophie Skellern, David Sneddon

This is one of the duets from the opera that I sing with Timothy Connor


Here are some links to press reviews of the production:

‘The payoff for an initiative like this is incalculable…rarely has innocent pleasure felt more vital.’  Please read this review as it is an insightful article which delves into the accessibility of opera and pretty much sums up how I feel about it.

★★★★★ Fiona Maddocks – The Observer

‘Full marks to BambinO. Opera can work for babies, and maybe one day they’ll come to enjoy it as adults, too…’ 

★★★★ Robert Beale – The Arts Desk

‘…it was genuinely moving to see a little girl of no more than nine months giggling with delight as the soprano, Charlotte Hoather, imitated bird sounds during a playful yet beautiful aria

Sam Jackson – The Times

‘…the joy of something like this is watching the joy in your little one’s face.’

★★★★ Dianne Bourne – Manchester Evening News

This video about ‘BambinO’, from the FaceBook page of the BBC, has received over 1.3 million views so far !!



61 thoughts on “Farewell To The Manchester International Festival

  1. Well done, my dear. I read the Fiona Maddocks review in the Observer today, and note that with true modesty you omitted quoting the line about “the outstanding, bewitching young soprano, Charlotte Hoather”. I felt proud to know you.

  2. Glad it worked out so well. You know babies have a way of coming back time and time again long after an activity they loved was done with them. Enjoy!

  3. This is beyond enchanting! I would love to see this become a full length video so others could grasp the concept as well as see what takes place. Yet, I do believe that being there in person would have more impact. Thank you for sharing that beautiful duet. Young lady, you are a gift to the world of music.

  4. What a lovely duet! You sounded positively entrancing. Those babies are really starting with the ultimate operatic experience–they’ll demand the best quality for the rest of their lives! But then I guess that is the aim of BambinO, isn’t it, to raise interest and appreciation for the “grand opera” experience that is sometimes (falsely) feared to be inaccessible to ordinary people, by making it an intrinsic part of the next generation’s lives from the very start. I think it’s a fantastic idea, and I can’t wait to see where you go with it. Best of luck always, Charlotte.

    Best regards,


    1. Thank you my friend for your lovely message. I hope you’re having a lovely summer and that everything is going well for all your family.
      Hope to get to see you again this autumn.
      Best wishes

  5. Wow! These reviews are awesome! Thank you for sharing the short video. It gives an idea how babies reacted to the show which was amazing to see.

    1. Thank you for reading and watching, they do give a little taste of the baby opera but the beauty really is that every show is slightly different to adapt to the audience, great fun.
      Best wishes

  6. Wow, so much fun just to watch the babies’ expressions as they listen to the opera. So sweet and adorable! It must have been a wonderful experience to see how the little ones enjoyed themselves and how you actually were responsible for their joy. Congrats, Charlotte! Hugs xx

  7. Your voices compliment each other so – it’s no wonder the babies are enjoying the music. I was lucky to have a father who instilled an appreciation of all types of music in me at an early age.

  8. Hi Charlotte, is the Duet a lullaby? It sounds like one..Amazing🙌We’re all proud of you..and need an autograph before the line gets too long.☺but I will skip in front of people if necessary.

    1. It’s about a mothers encouragement to her child to fly, but the entwining melodies can comfort like a lullaby, glad you enjoyed it. I’d always make time for you Eric 😊🙋🏼🌈.
      Best wishes

  9. The duet is so beautiful! I really am so pleased BambinO has been such a success – and these wonderful reviews! I have started following Scottish Opera on facebook and they have been keeping me up-to-date on things! I can’t have enough of BambinO excerpts, reviews and lovely you!

    1. It is such a pleasure to sing the duet and the whole score has some lovely melodies. I feel very lucky to work on such a beautiful opera. That is wonderful that you are following Scottish Opera, I hope you enjoy their page, they create some wonderful videos and interviews.
      Best Wishes,

    1. Aww thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement Don. It is wonderful to read that you can hear an improvement. That will fuel my motivation to keep working harder to achieve my goals.
      Best Wishes,

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