Music with Bite is a free concert series for kids at the Habourfront Center. Annabelle Follows Her Voice, a show within the series, is an opera musical. I was lucky enough to watch this show on Nov. 27, 2011.
As soon as I entered the theatre, I saw many young and excited children crowded near the stage. It was certainly a popular choice. The performance featured the world’s best opera singer, Annabelle Canto, played by Christina Tannous, and her accompanist, Henry, played by Dominic Boulianne. The story begins when Annabelle is offered a chance for a world tour but with a catch. Before signing the contract, she is required to do an audition to prove she is indeed the greatest opera singer. But Annabelle misunderstands the request and believes she needs to show how quickly she can pack her suitcase, go through customs with ease and sign 50 autographs in a mere 10 minutes. She asks Henry to help her prepare for her path of fame, but he has his own agenda.
During the show, the kids were constantly amused with opportunities to participate in the show themselves and also got to enjoy free cookies and milk. Some even tried to sing along! Suspenseful and hilarious, it was a show that would capture your heart in a blink of an eye.
After the performance, I had a chance to talk to Christina (who played Annabelle) and learned some facts about her. She has been singing professionally for 12 years, training coast to coast to perform for schools.
This was her second show playing Annabelle, and she wishes one day to go on a world tour as a musician. She really enjoyed performing and hoped for a sequel of Annabelle’s dilemmas. I could say the same for myself and the audience, as we would definitely come back next year.
Christina had some great advice for our future singers: “Be very patient, persistent, and work hard. Your time will come. Even if it’s hard, be the last soldier standing.”