Ithaca College’s upcoming production will be the regional premiere of “The Little Prince” and the first time an adult female performer has been cast at the college as the Little Prince, which is usually played by a young boy.
Many poetic phrases in the upcoming opera, “The Little Prince,” urge audience members to look beyond what they can only see.
“Eyes are blind, look only with the heart,” is a favorite line of Thomas Lehman, senior vocal performance major, who plays the Pilot. He said the phrase sums up the greater meaning of the show.
“As [we] grow up, we begin to perceive things and get cynical views on life,” he said. “Life becomes way too formulaic. The message of the story is that there’s much more to life than what we see in front of us.”
“The Little Prince,” an opera written in English by Rachel Portman with libretto by Nicholas Wright, is based on the novella of the same name by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It explores life, human nature and the difference between how children and adults see the world.
The plot follows the Little Prince on a quest for knowledge. While traveling he comes into contact with both zany and profound characters such as the Rose, the King, the Fox, the Snake, the Drunkard and Water.
Christina Fiacco, a senior vocal performance and music education major, who plays the Little Prince, said the opera shows the difference between children and adults.
“As we get older, we lose some kind of innocence, and in losing that innocence, we lose an understanding about life,” she said. “The Little Prince shows that grown-ups don’t see things for what they are.”
Jennifer Caprio ’99, costume designer for the show, said her vision for the costumes came from the illustrations in the original novella.
“We’ve tried to create a world solely based on those images,” she said. “When you see things through a child’s eye, you see the innocence and joy and the simplicity of everything. All of the moments in the opera — the scenic, costume and lighting moments — all surprise us with joy the way we would see them for the first time the way a child does.”