A unique children’s opera is coming to Kingston in July, as part of the International Youth Arts Festival in July.

Directors are hoping to cast 70 youngsters from the Kingston, Richmond and Wimbledon area, aged between 10 and 14, to perform in the musical production of The Piper of Hamelin.

The 50-minute opera for children is the retelling of the classic German tale, in which a rat-catching piper is betrayed by the people of Hamelin, and vows revenge by luring away the town children with his enchanted music.

The dramatic opera style lends itself well to the somewhat dark story.

Leading British composer John Rutter and National Youth Music Theatre founder, Jeremy James Taylor, are the masterminds behind the opera.

Those youngsters lucky enough to be picked will feature in the 50-minute opera, taking place at the Rose Theatre.

Taylor, who was awarded an OBE for his services to musical theatre and young people, says the production will be a major first for the Creative Youth charity, which supports young people to realise their potential through the arts.

He says: “I have just returned to Kingston from a wonderful 10 week stint in Sydney where I directed two major musical shows with local children – a huge success I'm glad to say.

“The cast of eight to 14 year olds will all be drawn from the Kingston, Richmond or Wimbledon area.

“I am keen to ensure that every child who might be interested knows that they will be welcome to apply for an audition so that we can get the best cast possible.”

Surrey Comet:

Directors are hoping to cast up to 70 youngsters from Kingston, Richmond and Wimbledon 

The remake has been described as both a witty and seriously moving take on the tale, highlighting the tragic consequences of the townsfolk’s’ greed.

Taylor says that this production will be particularly special as Rutter will be celebrating a significant birthday.

He says: “It comes to the Rose in early July and is extra special because 2015 celebrates John Rutter's 70th year and his music is being featured in most major festivals across the land.”

Budding actors are being encouraged to take part in auditions which end on Saturday, April 18.

Rutter says not only are they looking to find the best actors, but they also hope to cast singers and musicians for a small orchestra at the auditions in Kingston College.

The Piper of Hamelin; The Rose Theatre, Kingston; performances in early July (exact dates and times to be announced); for more details visit iyafestival.org.uk