Opera sessions let babies call the tune

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Babies as young as six months can call the tune in an interactive opera devised by the Scottish Opera company.

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'Baby O', aimed at the sixto 12-month age range, encourages baby talk and invites participants to explore a textured garden set.

The 30-minute show includes songs about bees, ducks and wellington boots, which follow the same melodic patterns as nursery rhymes.

Before taking 'Baby O' on the road, the Scottish Opera carried out 18 months of research in nurseries, observing babies' responses to different tones and types of music.

The show's director, Jane Davidson, said, 'To begin with I thought the children might be frightened by the performance, as it can get quite loud, but once they get used to it they really enjoy themselves.

'It's really interesting to see how babies respond to the different pitches, particularly those that are very high or low, and watching them make a connection with the sounds and where they are coming from,' she said. 'It is a real privilege for us to get a window into babies' development and discovery.'

'Baby O' is touring Scotland until 9 May. Ms Davidson hopes to adapt the show to benefit older children, particularly those with special educational needs.

Further information www.scottishopera.org.uk

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