San Francisco Opera Education Presents American Premiere of "Up In The Mountains"

Release date: 3/20/2017    


An Interactive Performance for Infants to 3-Year-Olds

15 Performances April 19-23, 2017 at the Bryan Education Studio

SF Opera Education-Up in the Mountains.pdf  Photos Available  

San Francisco Opera Education presents Up in the Mountains, an interactive performance created for infants to 3 year olds with accompanying parent(s) or guardian(s). Up in the Mountains combines words, song, gesture and visual media to tell a story inspired by fairy tales. Here, adults and children are free to let their imaginations run wild in their interpretations of the story being told. The fifteen morning and afternoon performances take place April 19–23, 2017 in the John M. Bryan Education Studio at the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera in San Francisco. In addition to the 20-minute performance, each 45-minute program includes hands-on activities for children and adults to explore arts creation together, including an instrument petting zoo, sensory bins, craft-making and coloring.

These performances mark the American premiere of Up in the Mountains. Created by Hanne Dieserud and Christina Lindgren in collaboration with composer Maja Ratkje, and performed by Ms. Dieserud, Up in the Mountains premiered in May 2011 in Hamar, Norway, and has since gained international praise on tours to Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greece and England.

Based in Norway, Hanne Dieserud and Christina Lindgren have created three music theater pieces for children ages 0–3 years: Korall Koral – A Baby Opera (2009), Up in the Mountains (2011) and Dragon-zoo (premiering April 2017 in Oslo). Dieserud/Lindgren create performances where children and adults have the same conditions for an experience—nothing needs to be explained to be understood. The shows are a series of events presented with triggers of excitement, humor or tranquility.

In Norway’s Gudbrandsdølen Dragningen, Hanne Dieserud explained: “The point is to awaken other senses than when we understand what is being said. I use sounds and facial expressions. Adults can also benefit from experiences that are not supposed to be understood in any particular way.”

“The shows aim to appeal to all senses and the fascination for the unknown. We believe that children have the right to art, the capability to experience art, and that it has a positive effect on child and adult to experience art together,” said Christina Lindgren. “We are thrilled to present Up in the Mountains, share an art experience together, and experience the response of the San Francisco babies and their adults! Visiting San Francisco Opera with Up in the Mountains is a huge achievement for our small company and we are excited to contribute to the establishment of the genre of performances for children 0–3 years in the United States.” 

Up in the Mountains is presented as part of San Francisco Opera Education’s “First Act” programs designed for families with children ages 6 and younger, and is the program’s first offering for this age group. “San Francisco Opera is thrilled to offer performances and activities for babies, toddlers and their parents, grandparents or guardians with Up in the Mountains,” said San Francisco Opera Director of Education Ruth Nott. “The Opera has provided family programs for children for a number of years. With the advantage of utilizing the beautiful Bryan Education Studio at the Wilsey Center for Opera, we’ve been able to expand our offerings to early childhood-aged children with our First Act programs. Adults often brought toddlers to our family workshops even though they were geared for slightly older children. We realized there was a desire for programming for the very youngest, and discovered there are not many arts programs available for babies and toddlers in the Bay Area. About three years ago, we discovered the work of Dieserud/Lindgren, and appreciate the positive child development aspects of their productions. We are thrilled to bring these wonderful Norwegian artists to the Bay Area for their American premiere, and we are excited to now be providing opera learning for all, from babies to adults of all ages.”

First Act Workshops are scheduled throughout the year at the Diane B. Wilsey Center for Opera and the War Memorial Opera House; to learn more about these programs, visit

For the complete press release, including calendar listings, please view the attached PDF.