21st Century Chicken
Mini-Opera (3 mins)

Music by Bryan Kesselman
Words by Kirsty Young

First performance: 2005, Opera Fringe Festival, Northern Ireland.
Part of Hatstand Opera's popular show 'Murder Most Fowl'. It has been performed many times since.

Original cast:
Toni Nunn, Kirsty Young, Richard Lloyd Owen, Bryan Kesselman

Chicken Little, having become a successful fashion icon, is faced by 3 reporters. Are they interviewing her for magazine articles, or do they have another motive? Her demise is imminent.  

“This hilarious tour de force outlines in a few telling episodes the rise and fall of the singing (clucking?) star Chicken Little.”   Dollgellau Music Club 2007 

Text below taken from
Murder Most Fowl – 18 May 2005

NORTHERN IRELAND — It's murder most fowl as opera and chickens meet! What happens when celebrity chickens and murderous mezzos meet on tour? The feathers really fly in a fun, fast and furious new work to tour County Down in Northern Ireland during June! Hatstand Opera present the world premiére of a new work, “21st Century Chicken”, as part of their “Murder Most Fowl” tour for the Opera Fringe in County Down, Northern Ireland.

“Murder Most Fowl” is a tongue in cheek look at how opera dispatches its heroes and villains, in extracts from famous operas. At its heart is the cautionary tale of Chicken Little, the 21st Century Chicken who lets fame go to her featherbrained head, in a witty new work by composer, Bryan Kesselman.

Hatstand Opera's Director, Kirsty Young, said: “Opera is very fond of killing off its characters, and it does it very well too! Of course, there are also plenty of real life characters in the media spotlight you could well do without too… So resist that urge to strangle a celeb and come and watch us do it instead - singing all the way!” “Murder Most Fowl” is ideal for those who love the sound opera makes, or heard some on an advert, or were even dragged along by the other half. It's an entertaining 30 minute rollercoaster of murderous musical mayhem as performed by the irrepressible Hatstand Opera. Who knows, you might die laughing…

Hatstand Opera are guests of Opera Fringe 2005, based in Downpatrick. Hatstand will be touring “Murder Most Fowl” to venues as diverse as community centres and libraries, performing twice a day. Best of all, the tickets are free! They will also be performing their Shakespeare opera and song show “120 Lovers and Counting” and a serving of “Souper Songs”.