2020 Science Festival

NCFO Festival Chorus will
perform a program of songs about VISION AND THE SENSES
at the 2020 Cambridge Science Festival:


Directed by David Bass

Rehearsals: Wednesdays, 6:15 to 7:30pm
   Peabody School, 70 Rindge Ave.
   Cambridge, MA 02140
Registration: at the first two rehearsals on
   Wednesday, January 29, 6:15pm
   Wednesday, February 5, 6:15pm
Performances:       on the second weekend of the Cambridge Science Festival
   Saturday April 25 at 3:00pm at the Cambridge Public Library (main library)
   Sunday April 26 at 3:00pm at the Peabody School

ADULTS and CHILDREN ages 6 and up are welcome!
Children ages 6 to 11 require a participating adult

QUESTIONS? Contact Claudette at
617-821-5043 or festival2020@familyopera.org


For the fourteenth consecutive year, North Cambridge Family Opera will present a program of science songs at the Cambridge Science Festival (April 17-26, 2020). Come sing with us about the miracle of sight and the other sensory systems! How do vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch and the vestibular (balance) systems work? How do they develop? How can they go wrong? And how do they differ in other species? Sample topics from our program of about 20 songs include optical illusions, cataracts, and perfect pitch. Listen to this demo of Michael Ching's song about how other animals' vision works: What Do You See, Butterfly? (this was performed by our 2015 Science Festival Chorus).

2020 Vision will include songs by several contemporary composers, including David Haines, who has been featured prominently in many of our previous Science Festival Choruses, plus Michael Ching, Bruce Lazarus, Dan Kallman, and Lauren Mayer; and local composers Molly Ruggles, Tim Maurice, and Ruth Hertzman-Miller. We will also sing a medley composed by Cambridge Public School students under the direction of David Haines, as part of his CPS Songwriting Workshops. The performances will be accompanied by a slideshow of children’s artwork and projected lyrics.

All experience levels are welcome! Rehearsals for everyone go from 6:15 to 7:30, then younger children and their parents may leave. The rehearsal will continue for another 45 minutes (until about 8:15), during which time we will work on some of the more difficult music with anyone who wishes to challenge themselves. Many rehearsals will include a brief, accessible discussion of the science behind the songs. Cutlass Crew participants may also sing in 2020 Vision; rehearsals and performances for the two productions will not conflict.

Click here to listen to / watch our 2019 performance of One Whole Step for Man and to read about the composers and lyricists who wrote the songs.



2020 Family Opera

Thanks to all those who auditioned for our 2020 OPERA


Music by Stuart Hancock
Libretto by Donald Sturrock

Audition information archived HERE
Performances March 28 and 29, April 4 and 5, 2020
at the Peabody School in Cambridge

Based on the historical figure, Lady Mary Killigrew, The Cutlass Crew tells the story of this English aristocrat-turned-pirate who, with her servants-turned-crew, menaces the high seas in the time of Queen Elizabeth I. As always, our performances will be inter-generational, and in English with side titles.

This work was commissioned by the W11 Opera for Young People and was first performed in December 2017. Our production will have some additional new music and scenes.

Check out these snippets to get a sense of the fun music in this show, ranging from Elizabethan style to sea shanty!
     Battle of the Sexes - the placid life of the servants at Arwenack House (3:13)
     The Last Unicorn - Sir Digory Piper serenades Queen Elizabeth (3:26)
     Lady Mary's Defense - our heroine explains why she turned to a life of piracy (1:37)

You can also visit this page periodically, which has the full complement of demos and accompaniments (with more completed music every day!), as well as clips from the W11 production.

Sign up on the NCFO mailing list by clicking HERE.

Our Mission

Our Mission: We provide children and adults the experience of telling stories through song, by performing original, entirely-sung operas and oratorios, with lyrics and music accessible and appealing to audiences of all ages. Below is a 3-minute introduction to what makes NCFO unique! (For more detail, here's a 12-minute version.)

New Works

We are always interested in hearing about new operas or entirely-sung musicals which might be suitable for our group. Please click here for more details of what we are looking for in the way of a "family opera."