The Story of Babar the Little Elephant @ Bristol (25 Apr; 3.30pm)

April 25, 2010

babar_webA free concert of music especially selected for children (age guide 5-11).  Children under 5 are welcome to attend, but we ask that they are seated with their parents at all times.

The Story of Babar the Little Elephant was written by Jean de Brunhoff as an illustrated children’s story.  Poulenc wrote the musical version in 1940 when his 5-year old niece placed a copy of the book upside down on his piano, asking him to ‘play it’.  He completed it in 1945, as a piece for narrator and piano.  In 1962 Jean Françaix wrote the orchestral version, which really brings the story vividly to life – using the full palette of sounds and emotions only a full orchestra can draw upon.

Babar is a baby elephant whose mother is killed by a huntsman.  Luckily Babar meets a kind elderly lady who takes him to the city, dresses him in a fine suit and gives him a shining new motor car.  However, he soon begins to feel homesick for the forest, and is pleased when his cousins Arthur and Celeste find him and persuade him to return home with them.  Back in the forest, where the King of the Elephants has eaten a poisonous mushroom, Babar is elected to become King.  He marries Celeste, and the last we hear of him he is thinking of a rosy future as he gazes dreamily into a star-filled sky.

The concert will open with Offenbach’s tune-packed overture from Orpheus in the Underworld.

Admission is free to children and accompanying adults (unaccompanied adults £8) with an optional retiring collection.

Reserve your seats online to guarantee entry: www.bristolconcertorchestra.org.uk

3:30pm

St Alban’s Church, Westbury Park, Bristol.