mystery on the docks

children's opera - Mystery on the Docks - by composer Edward Barnes

Mystery on the Docks

Words & Music by EDWARD BARNES
Based on “Mystery On The Docks” by Thacher Hurd

SYNOPSIS: Two mean looking rats slink into Ralph’s diner– and they’re pretty tough customers. Before the night is over, the villainous rats have kidnapped Ralph and the world-famous opera star, Edwina Bombastina. The rats will stop at nothing. But Ralph and Edwina are determined to be rescued, and they have at least one trick up their sleeve!

THEMES: Love of music; Working together to solve a problem.

“The music is so pleasing – to say nothing of the sheer energy emanating from the rhythmic contrasts and styles. Beautifully set.

Mystery on the Docks is an opera for children written by composer Edward Barnes

Illustrations ©copyright by Thacher Hurd

CAST: 3 + small ensemble

  • Ralph, a short order cook (tenor)
  • Big Al, a criminal rat (baritone)
  • Edwina Bombastina, opera star (soprano)
  • Big Al’s Gang of Rats and Townspeople (ensemble)

DURATION: 30 minutes

ACCOMPANIMENT: Piano only; or Piano/Electric keyboard and Percussion.
*Note, this work includes an optional children’s percussion band who perform old radio-style sound effects for the opera. The opera also includes optional “commercial breaks”, which can be performed live, front of curtain, between each of the 3 short acts.

COMMISSIONED BY: The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Los Angeles Opera and Opera Columbus, a joint commission funded by the Reader’s Digest/Meet the Composer Fund.

PRODUCTIONS: The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Columbus, Orlando Opera, Manhattan School of Music, University of Bowling Green, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Memphis, University of Southern Illinois, Riverside Lyric Opera, Muse Opera South Korea, West Virginia University


Scene 1

Play Video

Scene 2

Play Video


Copyright 2022 – Operas for Children – Edward Barnes, Composer

Close Menu