• Director, Ella Marchment
  • Conductor, Michael Rosewell
  • Composer, Libby Larsen
  • Librettist, Libby Larsen and Bridget Carpenter
  • Designer, Madeleine Boyd
  • Choreographer, Adam Haigh
  • Royal College of Music
  • Britten Theatre, London
  • UK premiere
  • June–July 2023


Barnum’s Bird is the story of a relationship ahead of its time – that of the ‘great showman’ PT Barnum, and his star opera singer, Jenny Lind.

Known as the ‘Swedish Nightingale’, Jenny Lind was the most treasured soprano of her time, with a reputation that would have rivalled that of Elvis Presley or the Beatles. A savvy businesswoman, she went on an American tour in 1850 with Barnum, who put Lind’s name on cigars, soap and cakes, and marketed her personality – something that had never been seen before.

Grammy Award-winning composer Libby Larsen’s chamber opera in two acts is a story of art, artists and the human soul. At the same time, it’s a tale of how great art serves commerce and profit, as well as humanity, and makes us question our own experiences as a consumer of entertainment.

Synopsis by Royal College of Music.


Video courtesy of Adam Haigh


All photos (C) Chris Christodoulou