The Little Mermaid

Freeze Frame Opera

The Little Mermaid Sat 20 & Sun 21 Feb Government House Ballroom Sat 20 & Sun 21 Feb Government House Ballroom $25 - $40
Event Info Buy Tickets
Sat 20 & Sun 21 Feb at Government House Ballroom, from $25 - $40

Presented in association with Government House Foundation

Introduce your young arts lover to the wonders of live music and theatre when Dvořák's Rusalka, a beautiful version of The Little Mermaid, is adapted for children by Freeze Frame Opera. This magical production transforms Government House Ballroom into a fairytale world, with the arches, balconies and stage becoming underwater caves, waterfalls and a palace.

Freeze Frame Opera is known for reframing operatic classics to make them entertaining for modern audiences, especially children. In a significant departure from the familiar fairytale, the mermaid Rusalka has the independence expected by today's young audience. Just like Elsa in Disney's Frozen, Rusalka doesn’t need a boyfriend to fix all her problems! Instead of a love story, this is a coming-of-age tale about balancing adventure and responsibility as children grow up and leave home. There is a strong focus on healthy relationships, and on taking care of what’s important, including the environment. There‘ll be lots of laughter, interaction and suspense – and of course the sublime music of Dvořák's lyrical opera.

Bring the whole family for a live musical experience then stay a while longer to enjoy pedal cars and refreshments in the Supper Room, followed by some fun games in the stunning gardens of Government House – all included in the ticket price!

Rachel McDonald
Caitlin Cassidy (The Witch), Robert Hofmann (The Father), Jun Zhang (The Prince), Prudence Sanders (The Little Mermaid), Jessie Ward (Narrator)
Musical Director & Pianist
Caroline Badnall
Robbie Harrold
Lighting Designer
Jerry Reinhardt

Caitlin Cassidy (mezzo soprano)  – The Witch
Caitlin Cassidy was recently a principal artist with Opera Australia singing Aunty B in The Barber of Seville NSW Schools Tour. An award-winning young artist with the with West Australian Opera, Caitlin made her principal as Countess Ceprano and subsequently performed the roles of Third Lady and Marcellina and in their regional concert series in Broome and the South West. In 2019 Caitlin appeared as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with the State Opera of South Australia. She performs regularly with Freeze Frame Opera in Perth namely as Silvia (I Pagliacci) and Ježibaba (The Little Mermaid) and in gala concerts. She completed a Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes in New York where she also performed with New York Lyric Opera. Prior to this, she graduated from the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts where she completed a Bachelor of Music, a Graduate Diploma and a Master of Creative Arts.  

Robert Hofmann (baritone) – The Father
Robert Hofmann’s Freeze Frame Opera productions have included the Sacristan in Tosca, Quarry concerts and most recently, Truck-o-rama, the European Tour. He has sung many roles with the West Australian Opera including Koko in The Mikado, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Falke in Die Fledermaus, John Styx in Orpheus in the Underworld and Hobson in Peter Grimes. An award-winning cabaret performer, Robert is renowned for playing multiple comedic characters with musical directors Tommaso Pollio and Cathie Travers, appearing with critical acclaim at Perth Writers’ Festival, Downstairs at the Maj, Perth Fringe World, Edinburgh, Sydney and Melbourne Fringes as well as off-off Broadway in New York City.  He is a frequent guest performer with DivaLicious in Perth and has toured with them to WA Regions, Adelaide Fringe and the Sydney Opera House. As a concert soloist his engagements have included Messiah and the Bach Passions in the St Georges Cathedral Concert Series under the direction of Dr Joseph Nolan.

Jun Zhang (tenor)  – The Prince

Born in China, Jun Zhang trained at the Australian Opera Studio and WAAPA. At the Opera Studio, he performed leading roles in The Tales of HoffmannTrouble in TahitiManonThe Magic Flute and La Finta Giardiniera. Recent roles for FFO include Cavaradossi in Tosca and Beppe in Pagliacci.  

Prudence Sanders (soprano) – The Little Mermaid
Australian born soprano, Prudence Sanders, commenced her training at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. As a recipient of a scholarship from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she completed her Masters degree under the tutelage of John Evans. Prudence made her Wigmore Hall debut as part of the GSMD New Music Festival. Roles have included Musetta, La Boheme (Opera Up Close’s Olivier award winning production),  Governess, Turn of the Screw (dir. Edward Dick), Cunegonde, Candide (Cambridge Philharmonic), Soprano Soloist, Mittwoch aus Licht (Birmingham Opera, dir. Graham Vick), Adina, L’elisir d’amore (Opera Up Close) and Bianca, La Rondine (Go Opera) and Fiordiligi, Cosi fan tutte for WAO.

Caroline Badnall – Musical Director & Pianist
Caroline Badnall has enjoyed many years as a chamber musician, repetiteur, vocal coach and soloist. She has recorded numerous recitals for the ABC including two Sunday Live performances. A highlight of Caroline's career was winning a Fellowship to Yale Summer School where her tutors included pianist Boris Berman and the Tokyo String Quartet. Caroline has been coach and accompanist to singers and instrumentalists in WA for many years, as well as enjoying much success in chamber music and recently performed two recitals for the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall Series with soprano Sara Macliver. Caroline is thoroughly enjoying being a freelance pianist and especially loves her regular performances with Freeze Frame Opera.  

Rachel McDonald – Director
Rachel McDonald has directed for many of Australia’s leading companies, with productions including La Voix Humaine for Opera Australia, The Pianist for Belvoir/Sydney Festival, The Taming of the Shrew for Sydney Theatre Company, La Traviata for OzOpera  national tour and Queen Lear for Melbourne Theatre Company.  Rachel is the artistic director of Freeze Frame Opera, where she has directed La Boheme, Pagliacci and Tosca. Rachel has also directed extensively for WAAPA and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and enjoys working with emerging artists. Writing credits include several projects for Musica Viva national tours, Susanna’s Wedding and this adaptation of Rusalka for children.  Rachel lectures at WAAPA in acting, directing and design.    

Robbie Harrold – Designer
Robbie Harrold has designed all FFO shows since its launch in November 2016. These shows have included Rusalka, Tosca, Pagliacci, La Boheme, Opera Truck-o-rama, Opera at the Movies, Opera at the Movies – the Sequel, Opera Heroines, Opera at the Quarry, Handel in the House and Kidogo concerts. Robbie trained in set design at WAAPA and is an artistic advisor to the board of FFO.  

Jerry Reinhardt – Lighting Designer
Jerry Reinhardt hails from the USA. Born and raised in Reno Nevada, he began his entertainment career working in casino show rooms. Jerry holds a BA in Theatre and an MFA in Dramatic Arts from the University of California, Davis. As Technical Director for the University of Oregon Jerry designed lighting for productions of La Boheme, Faust and La Traviata. Jerry has toured extensively with international artists including Cher, Neil Diamond, Al Jarreau, Van Halen, Mikail Baryshnikov, Chicago, Burt Bacharach, and Natalie Cole, to name a few. He currently manages the Perth Company, Concert & Corporate Productions and lectures at the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle.


Music on the Terrace
Music on the Terrace is proudly supported by the Government House Foundation of Western Australia, which promotes the significance of Government House, its ballroom and gardens, to the people of WA. The Foundation has staged the popular Music on the Terrace concerts since 2006, with Fiona Campbell taking over as Artistic Director in 2019. Fiona designs programs to welcome all Western Australians to Government House with a broad spectrum of events that deliver exceptional musical quality and encourage young WA artists.

Freeze Frame Opera
Freeze Frame Opera (FFO) spreads the love of opera by reframing operatic classics to make them relevant and entertaining for modern audiences. Shows are specifically designed to introduce opera to new audiences and to sustain the enthusiasm of those who are already opera lovers. FFO provides much needed opportunities for WA based singers and creatives of outstanding professional quality, including instrumentalists, stage and lighting designers and directors. By embracing entrepreneurial opportunities and interdisciplinary collaboration, FFO is keeping opera both innovative and sustainable. FFO has now firmly established itself as a company with great artistic merit that has changed the cultural landscape of Perth and provided numerous opportunities to artists in WA.

Time & Location

Sat 20 & Sun 21 Feb

11am & 2pm

Government House Ballroom, St Georges Terrace Perth / Gumap


45 mins

    • Adult: $40
    • Friend: $35
    • Student: $25

Eligible for package discount

Buy tickets to 3 or more events and save 10%

  • Audio described performance Sun 21 Feb 2pm
  • Tactile tour available before the show at 1pm on Sun 21 Feb
  • Auslan interpreted performance Sat 20 Feb 11am

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Thank you


  • Robert Harrold
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