The Flea

Loosely based on the homonymous tale collected in Giambattista Basile’s 1634 work Tale of Tales (or Pentamerone), this opera narrates the story of a king from modern-day Calabria who raised a flea until it was the size of a sheep. On seeing this, the king had it skinned and promised his daughter Porziella in marriage to whoever could guess what the skin came from. To everyone’s dismay, a foul ogre guessed the insect; the king had to marry his poor daughter to him. The Flea is a one-act magic-realist chamber opera on the adventures of the courageous princess in an old realm in Southern Italy.