Paper Wasp with Caterpillar and Mosquito in his Library. DiBattista, Nackley and VincentPerformances

More than 7,500 people have seen The Bug Opera since its premiere on November 17th, 2006.  It was performed 30 times in the fall of 2007 as a co-production between San Antonio opera and Magik Theater San Antonio, and had seven perfomances in four different venues in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, USA in November 2006.

The Story

A feisty mosquito who doesn’t want to drink blood meets a caterpillar who loves his life and is reluctant to change. As they look for answers they encounter a number of colorful characters: jovial Dung Beetle; bookish, sinister Paper Wasp; Luna Moth, a damsel-in-distress; and dangerous, glamorous Spider. In this coming-of-age story, the heroes’ journey ultimately leads them back to themselves.


A minimum of six singers (coloratura soprano, lyric soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, and bass-baritone) and an orchestra with a minimum of 10 players (flute, oboe/english horn, clarinet/bass-clarinet, trumpet, trombone, percussion, violin, viola, cello, double bass). A larger orchestra can be achieved by increasing the string section.

Involving Children

While the major roles are written for adult performers, children can be incorporated as performers in The Bug Opera. The collage of crepuscular sounds underlying the end of Act I is well-suited to an ensemble (8-32 voices) of children. Similarly, children may be used as dancers, floating through the hall dressed as moths, in the moments just before the emotional highpoint of the opera, where Caterpillar decides to embrace his fate.

Duration: Act I : 45 minutes; Act II : 30 minutes; Total:  75 minutes