Tantrums and touch at toddler opera

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Media captionScottish Opera launches a production for toddlers

Leaving the audience in tears is an occupational hazard for an opera company but it's something Scottish opera would rather avoid with their latest production.

True there are tears, even a mild tantrum, but that happens when your audience ranges from 18 months to 36 months old.

Sensory O is the sister opera to Baby O, the show Scottish Opera produced two years ago.

This time it is toddlers who are the target audience.

There is more singing, an interactive set and better costumes.

There is even a plot.

It may not be Tosca, but it is definitely on the path to full-blown opera.

Carers and toddlers are led into the space by the singers, who are dressed in pyjamas.

There is soft seating and cushions.

A giant bed is a hiding place and integral to the plot.

Image caption The show involves lots of interaction

It is all interactive and ends with most of the audience forming a human "train" behind a singer on an engine.

It is a tough audience though. Unlike the babies, they are mobile and they are vocal.

Questions are common mid-show, and they are generally answered.

Weeks of testing means the show's creators have discerned the right length of performance - 30 minutes - and the right vocabulary for this age group.

For the toddlers, it is an early experience of entertainment.

They quickly learn when to listen and when to join in.

While the measure of an adult show is applause, and perhaps a good review, the success of this show is judged on whether the audience laugh, listen and sing along.

Baby O is already one of the most requested shows in the company's repertoire and the signs are good that its sister show will be just as popular.

And while tearful clients are not a good sign, at least one audience member finds it all just a bit too much.

As the props are collected, including the woollen lion's tail he's been wearing throughout, he throws himself face down into his mother's arms and begins wailing, "my tail, my tail".

A true opera-goer in the making.

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