"In spring 2016, FBN Productions, Inc. will present All According to Taste: The Three Bears Guide to Porridge Making. This is a look at the traditional story of Goldilocks with an eye toward embracing our differences – that is, we don’t all have to like our porridge prepared the same way to enjoy porridge. The music is from the operetta The Bohemian Girl which was written in 1843 by Michael William Balfe. Many might know the famous piece “I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls” from the operetta.
"All According To Taste: The Three Bears Guide to Porridge Making began from a series of conversations about opera for children. Even after 400 years of opera tradition, there is still a small number of operas geared towards children which offer the level of flexibility and mobility that a touring children's opera company requires. I decided to stop complaining about the lack and work to fill the gap. As I began my research, I came across the Balfe opera The Bohemian Girl. The Bohemian Girl was wildly popular in its day due to its beautiful score. The music is very dramatic and melodic – and easily accessible, which is a great benefit when attempting to expose children to this art form. In a beautiful moment of kismet, the first published editions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears were appearing at the same time that The Bohemian Girl premiered. I took it as a sign, and began to draft a new libretto for Balfe's music to tell the story of Goldilocks.
"But, if you remember the story, the Three Bears and Goldilocks never meet in the original tale. One glance at each other, and Goldilocks runs away in fright. It wouldn't be a very compelling story if the characters never interacted (and it would probably be a very short story, too.) So, I crafted the plot to get the Three Bears and Goldilocks to talk to each other about the different ways in which they like their porridge. Can people be friends and still have different opinions? With an election year staring us in the face, perhaps we could all use another chance to explore that question, and surely we need to teach our children how to explore the diversity in the world with compassion and respect. And opera, too."
-- Daniel Gainey, librettist