An engaging introduction to opera for children with similarities to Britten's Noye's Fludde (audience sing-alongs provide the chorus). Also a worthy companion piece to his "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra," it is ideal for schools, music teachers, conservatories, and amateur theater groups. For those interested in producing "The Little Sweep," it may be performed with the introductory play "Let's Make an Opera" where the children participate in pulling together all the elements of opera (music, costumes, props, etc. as well as mini-rehearsals when the audiences runs through the songs they will sing). Full score and libretto are available from Boosey and Hawkes of this -- one of Britten's favorite works and one that deserves to be mounted frequently.
This film begins with a colorful prologue introducing all the characters who appear in the opera production and its audience. The film looks to have been made in Germany with a German cast, but the spoken portions use singers and actors from Great Britain to voice the dialogue. When the opera itself begins, the words are sung in English with English subtitles to aid in understanding all the lyrics. The play+opera's magic is captured in full by the film and, this reviewer hopes, will inspire many more productions for and by young people.