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The Monstrous Child

Francesca Simon, Gavin Higgins and Simon Wallfisch

Jewish Book Week

Sun 10 Mar
Words

The Monstrous Child

Francesca Simon, Gavin Higgins and Simon Wallfisch

Jewish Book Week

Francesca Simon speaker
Gavin Higgins speaker
Simon Wallfisch chair

Bestselling children’s author and librettist Francesca Simon, with award-winning composer Gavin Higgins, has produced an opera of her stunning epic Norse tale, The Monstrous Child, to be staged at the Royal Opera House in the Linbury Theatre from 21 February – 3 March.

Francesca and Gavin will be in conversation with acclaimed singer and cellist Simon Wallfisch, discussing the genesis of the production. This is a unique opportunity to hear about the journey of turning a story into a modern day opera.


Francesca Simon is an award-winning children’s author. The Monstrous Child was her first book for teens and was shortlisted for the 2017 Costa Book Awards and the YA Book Prize. The opera, based on the book, premieres in February 2019 at The Royal Opera House.

Gavin Higgins is an award-winning composer who has worked with some of the country’s leading orchestras, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic. His latest work is an opera based on Francesca Simon’s best-selling book, The Monstrous Child.

Simon Wallfisch, Cellist and Baritone studied voice and cello at the Royal College of Music and in Berlin and Leipzig. As a cellist he played with the English Chamber Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra before concentrating on singing. He has sung solo roles at the Zürich Opera House, Nürnberg State Opera, Leipzig Opera, Netherlands Touring Opera and English Touring Opera. He has recorded several CDs of both Song and Opera repertoire. He teaches cello at the Royal College of Music and Voice at the London College of Music, and is visiting professor at the Jerusalem Music Centre and Osnabrück Institute of Music. He is a trustee of ICSM (International Centre for Suppressed Music) promoting music suppressed by authoritarian regimes both past and current.

Date & time:Sun 10 Mar – 3.30pm
Venue:Hall Two

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