Reminder: Nikolaus Schapfl was six years old when he was given his very first copy of The Little Prince by his uncle. While not as yet understanding the full complexity of the book, he soon fell under the spell of the rose. He came back to the text ten years later, when he began learning French. The idea of turning the story into an opera came to him in 1990. He began sketching out the first arias, quite convinced that Saint-Exupéry’s characters had the dramatic depth necessary for the operatic stage. The work was first performed in Salzburg in 1998, followed by a series of concerts in Agay, at the Prinzregententheater in Munich and at Bluenbach Castle in Salzburg. Nikolaus Schapfl’s opera, directed by Peer Boysen, was staged at the Karlsruhe State Theatre on 25 March, before an audience of 2,500 opera-lovers, to mark the 60th anniversary of the publication of The Little Prince in France.
Nikolaus is a true friend of the Little Prince. On 23 October 2011, the German public, and children in particular, will be introduced to his Little Prince opera specially adapted for a younger audience.
As an introduction to the work of Nikolaus Schapfl, here is an extract from his work on the Little Prince. The footage was shot at the 2009 Antoine de Saint-Exupéry International Meeting.