Into the Little Hill

Into the Little Hill

May 19 & 20, 2023 | Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Canadian premiere of UK composer George Benjamin’s chamber opera Into the Little Hill, a lyrical tale in two parts
Co-presented with SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs

A modern re-telling of the classic Pied Piper tale, Into the Little Hill tells of a mysterious stranger who rids a town of its rats, only to make its children disappear when his promised payment is withheld. Timeless and contemporary, it asks: Who do we deem as “rats” in our society? Who gets to decide? What are we willing to do to get rid of them? And what are the consequences when we refuse to “pay the piper” — refuse to accept responsibility for the outcomes of our actions?


“The singing—with its complex rhythms, frantic high notes, and sinister lows—is punishing, but Pawsey and Parkinson pull it off with confidence and charisma.”


— Stir Vancouver

“The opening music is as striking as it gets in opera; “Kill them they bite/kill them they steal”/“Kill them they take bread take rice” are the crowd’s first, frenzied lines, set against chaotically stabbing strings.”


— Stir Vancouver

“The Pied Piper narrative clearly still resonates with contemporary audiences, and Crimp’s spare but affecting lyrics leave ample room for postmodern interpretation.”


— The Georgia Strait

“A multidisciplinary, modern take on the medieval story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Into the Hill features two singers, three dancers and live music.”


— The Jewish Independent

“Even though Into the Little Hill is written for two singers, Pawsey always imagined it with dancers..”


— Pancouver


Emma Parkinson, Mezzo-soprano, as The Crowd, The Narrator, The Minister, The Minister’s Wife
Heather Pawsey, Soprano, as The Crowd, The Stranger, The Narrator, The Minister’s Child
Juolin Lee, Dancer
Daria Mikhaylyuk, Dancer
Hana Rutka, Dancer


Leslie Dala, Music Director and Conductor
Idan Cohen, Director and Choreographer
Victoria Bell, Lighting Designer
Elena Razlog, Costume Designer
Monica Chen, Assistant Conductor


Sylvain Senez, Stage Manager / Production Manager
Monica Chen, Supertitles Operator


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Photo Credit:  Flick Harrison