UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Creative differences : Sendak's and Knussen's intended audiences of Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop! Field, Leah Giselle


Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak and composer Oliver Knussen collaborated on two one-act operas based on Sendak’s picture books Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life. Though they are often programmed as children’s operas, Sendak and Knussen labeled the works fantasy operas, but have provided little commentary on any distinction between these labels. Through examination of their notes and commentary on the operas, published reviews and analysis of the operas, e-mail interviews conducted with operatic administrators and composers of children’s operas, and my analysis of the two works I intend to show that Sendak and Knussen had different target audiences in mind as they created these works.

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