St Petersburg, The Prokofiev Hall

The Silly Little Mouse

opera by Dmitry Shostakovich


Performed by soloists of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Opera Singers

Piano: Yuri Kokko

Premiere: 4 March 2017, Mariinsky Theatre

Running time 40 minutes

Age category 0+


Music by Dmitry Shostakovich

Musical Director: Larisa Gergieva
Director: Alla Chepinoga
Costume Designer: Tatiana Mashkova
Lighting design: Yegor Kartashov
Designer: Anastasia Shafikova


In a large friendly family there is a party today – it is the birthday of the middle daughter Polina. Violin lessons have been cancelled, the birthday tea is being laid out, all sorts of gifts are being given, but the greatest impression on the birthday girl comes with the main present – a story about a foolish little mouse enacted by all of the servants in the technique of shadow puppet theatre. After seeing the performance Polina remembers forever that you have to listen to your parents, not act capriciously and go to bed at the right time. Because only in your dreams can obedient children see the real Little Mouse!

In the spring of 1939 Dmitry Shostakovich stated that "Now I am writing music for the short cartoon film The Tale of the Foolish Little Mouse after Marshak. (...) I have already completed the keyboard version of the work and am now concluding the score. It is with great pleasure that I am working on this composition. It is my first experience of film music for children. I would like the experience to be a success and for children to approve of my work.
"The music of this film consists of a nursery rhyme sung by a mouse, a duck, a pig, a toad, a horse, a pike and a cat. This song varies depending on the nature of the character singing it. The music is merry and lyrical." (Music for Film: Composer's Notes // Literary Gazette. 10 April 1939).

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