Help, help, the Globolinks are coming and only music can save us!
Especially for Hamburg, the Italian-American composer and director Gian Carlo Menotti composed Hilfe, Hilfe Die Globolinks!, an opera ‘for children and for those who love children’. The premiere took place in 1968 and a year later it was filmed in the studio.
I must confess that I’m not a big fan of children’s operas, but I’ve been shamelessly enjoying this one. It is an irresistible fairy tale about aliens (Globolinks) who are allergic to music and can only be defeated by means of music.
The images are very sensational for that period, full of colour and movement and the forest little Emily (the irresistible Edith Mathis) has to go through with her violin to get help is really frightening. The aliens are a bit of a let-down according to modern standards, but that doesn’t matter, it gives the whole a cuddly shine. The work is bursting with humour and irony; musical barbarians are lashed out at: the school principal who doesn’t like music turns into an alien himself.
There are also a lot of one-liners (“music leads you to the right path” or “when music dies, the end of the world is near”). It is incomprehensible a work like this is not performed all the time in every school (and I don’t mean just for the children), the subject is (and remains) very topical.
None of the roles, including the children, could be better cast, and this once again proves the high standard of the Hamburg ensemble. In which other city would you find so many great singers/actors who can perform so many different roles on such a high level?