The Iron Man


Photo: State Opera of S Australia


Based on the award-winning short story by the late English Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, the opera is based on two major events. In Act 1 a gigantic Iron Man appears in a small farming community in England. The villagers are terrified and they respond by digging a deep hole to catch him and bury him. However, the Iron Man escapes. Two children, Hogarth and Kelly, try another approach; they invite him to come and live on the town's scrap-metal yard. Through their courage and trust, the Iron Man becomes a friend instead of a threat.

In Act 2 a colossal Space Being lands on Australia and threatens to eat all life on earth. The nations of the world attack with weapons; but the Space Being only smiles at them. Hogarth and Kelly ask the Iron Man to help. Through a test of strength by fire he subdues the Space Being, who then agrees to orbit the world singing the Music of the Spheres. Through the power of music, peace reigns on earth.

Duration: 75 minutes
Hogarth (boy soprano)
Kelly (mezzo)
The Iron Man (bass/baritone)
(or piano/synthesiser accompaniment)

Performing Materials: G Schirmer Inc., New York

"The Iron Man should take its place along with such enduring works as Benjamin Britten's and W H Auden's "Paul Bunyan" in a very special category of operas written for young artists to perform, and young audiences to enjoy."
Opera for Youth Inc, USA

"…scored in a sumptuous Wagnerian manner."
State Opera of South Australia

"…a triumphant work….thrilling."
Sunday Mail

"…the libretto neither patronises nor presumes."
The Adelaide Review

More Information


Operas for Children