Opera comes to life at Chatham Community Library with “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

By Heather O’Shaughnessy

Pittsboro, NC – “So many people immediately dismiss opera when they’ve never actually seen one,” says Rachel Stenbuck, performer and educator with the North Carolina Opera. “I’ve found with my students through the years of teaching, that it very much depended on how it was presented. If you just had them just listen to a recording and go, ‘Isn’t this pretty?’, well, of course, they have nothing to attach that to; They don’t know what’s going on. Opera was meant to be watched, not just listened to, and when you show them, they get it.”

Actors on a stage costumed as the Three Little Pigs perform among their three houses.
Courtesy of North Carolina Opera.

Chatham Community Library will offer kids and grown-ups the opportunity to watch and listen this Thursday, July 13, in an enchanting evening filled with the magic of opera. The North Carolina Opera, in collaboration with Opera Classroom, will present “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”–a captivating musical adaptation that takes inspiration from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” reimagining the infamous Don as the iconic Big Bad Wolf. The performance promises to be a delightful experience for music enthusiasts of all ages.

“Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” weaves together the well-known tales of Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, and their companions, as they unite to teach the Wolf the error of his ways. Through the power of music and the use of Mozart’s exceptional compositions, young audiences will discover the importance of standing up against bullying, cherishing friendship, and embracing the unifying force of music.

With “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” and artists like Stenbuck, the North Carolina Opera takes exceptional operatic experiences that captivate and engage audiences into communities, fostering a deeper appreciation for the art form. Their collaboration with Opera Classroom–a group that adapts operas from the likes of Mozart, Dvorak, and Rossina for kids across the country–is a big part of that. By merging classical music with relatable stories, Opera Classroom shares Stenbuck’s aims to present opera in a way that ignites a lifelong passion for the art form. 

Actors on a stage costumed as the Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Grandmother.
Courtesy of North Carolina Opera.

Stenbuck wants you to know: “Opera isn’t a dying art. The company has been getting more and more new fans each year. But if we don’t reach out to students in particular, kids, they won’t ever have a chance to find out.”

Intrigued? Head to the Holmes Family Meeting Room at the Chatham County Library and see Chatham’s not-to-be-missed opera event in an intimate setting. Admission to “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” is free of charge, so it’s a low-stakes way to see if opera speaks to you and your family. Give over to the artistry of the North Carolina Opera and the imaginative storytelling of Opera Classroom, and Go See This!

  • When: Thursday, July 13 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Where: Chatham County Library, 197 NC Highway 87 North, Pittsboro (in the Holmes Family Meeting Room)
  • Cost: Free
  • Parking: Visitor parking on site
  • Accessibility: Accessible parking and building
  • For more info: Chatham Community Library