"""Attention, attention! Unknown flying objects from another planet and creatures identified so far only as Globolinks have landed on Planet Earth. All citizens are asked to remain calm. Be on your guard. Stay tuned for further broadcasts. THE GLOBOLINKS ARE HERE!""
A scene from a science fiction movie? It certainly could have been; the admonition is so familiar but, no, this is the opening spoken narrative that follows some evocative night skies, space-sweeping and reminiscent-of- schooldays orchestral music in Menotti's space-age opera for children of all ages, “Help, Help, The Globolinks”. Composed in 1968 and first performed in Hamburg, Menotti's music for “Globolinks” is appealing and accessible and often very amusing. The opera has a message that should be heeded in every school.
Amusing electronics characterise the Globolinks. The opening scene has them gathering around a school bus. They are about to converge on the children when they are repulsed by the sound of the horn. The children awake and are alarmed but Tony, the bus driver, tries to comfort them. Then they learn from the bus radio that the Globolinks are at large and that they are frightened by the sound of musical instruments. However, all the children who are returning to school after their holidays, had left their instruments at school except for Emily who is persuaded to go to the school for help from the teachers, playing her violin as she goes to protect herself against the Globolinks.
""Unless we keep music in our soul, a hand of steel will clasp our hearts and we shall live by clocks and dials instead of air and sun and sea. Make music with your hands, make music with your breath."" (Text from the aria of Madame Euterpova, the music teacher)
Composer, librettist and conductor, Gian-Carlo Menotti was born in Cadegliano in Italy in 1911 but has lived mainly in America and Scotland. He studied at Milan Conservatoire from 1924-27 and then on Toscanini's advice at the Curtis Institute where he met and formed a lifelong friendship with Samuel Barber. He has worked mainly in the field of opera and is best remembered for his opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors”.