The Story

A feisty mosquito who doesn’t want to drink blood meets a caterpillar who loves his life and is reluctant to change. As they look for answers they encounter a number of colorful characters: jovial Dung Beetle; bookish, sinister Paper Wasp; Luna Moth, a damsel-in-distress; and dangerous, glamorous Spider. In this coming-of-age story, the heroes’ journey ultimately leads them back to themselves.


A minimum of six singers (coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, and bass-baritone) and an orchestra with a minimum of 10 players (flute, oboe/english horn, clarinet/bass-clarinet, trumpet, trombone, percussion, violin, viola, cello, double bass). A larger orchestra can be achieved by increasing the string section.

Involving Children

While the major roles are written for adult performers, children can be incorporated as performers in The Bug Opera. The collage of crepuscular sounds underlying the end of Act I is well-suited to an ensemble (8-32 voices) of children. Similarly, children may be used as dancers, floating through the hall dressed as moths, in the moments just before the emotional highpoint of the opera, where Caterpillar decides to embrace his fate.


More than 7,500 people have seen The Bug Opera since its premiere on November 17th, 2006. It was performed 30 times in the fall of 2007 as a co-production between San Antonio opera and Magik Theater San Antonio and had seven performances in four different venues in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, USA in November 2006.

Duration: Act I : 45 minutes; Act II : 30 minutes; Total:  75 minutes

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‘Bug Opera’ Soars to New Heights

Hudson’s music was clever and well-crafted, reminiscent of Bernstein or perhaps of a light-hearted, avuncular Stravinsky. He understands the kinds of melodies singers like to sing, and within the boundaries of carefully conceived formal harmonic plan, gives them those kinds of melodies. The luna moth’s vocalise in Act II was supreme, as were the paper wasp’s polyglot waltz and many of the mosquito’s laments, all very shapely and leading to blooming high notes that are the meat and potato
.es of opera singing.

– by Clifton J. Noble Jr. for The Republican

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Ick! Eek! Encore!

“It’s a blend of instruments and voices and drama for an audience that we hope will bridge the gap of generation to generation,” said Hangen, who is also conductor of youth and family concerts for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor for the Boston Pops. “The idea is certainly fun enough and interesting for kids to get something out of, but it is also written at a level, musically speaking, that adults will get something from it, too.”

– by Sarah M. Taylor for The Boston Globe

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An opera for kids workshop gives creators input

“And Hudson and Pearson are very serious about music, despite the subject matter of their opera. They say that lowly bugs are perfectly appropriate characters for such a high art, as well as creatures that intrigue children. Insects ”are fascinating,” Hudson said, ”like these little alien life forms all around us leading these incredibly exotic lives.” Their lives are ”very dramatic” and full of operatic themes like love, death, and betrayal. ”They lead very complex and colorful lives, and it seemed like a really happy marriage with opera.”

– by Sally Heany for The Boston Globe

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‘The Bug Opera’ has kid humor, message

The operetta, a collaboration between Magik and the San Antonio Opera, kicks off Magik’s 2007-08 season with a special opening performance Sunday afternoon. An hour before the 2:30 curtain time, early birds can get an up-close look at creepy critters from the San Antonio Zoo’s “BugMania!” exhibit, as well as taking part in a little face painting and snacking on bug-themed munchies.

San Antonio Express

Charming, funny ‘Bug Opera’ appeals to audiences of all ages

Directed with characteristic wit by Dave Morgan, Magik’s second collaboration with the San Antonio Opera is a charmer that should please audiences of all ages.