Famed for his gothic rock anthems, Alice Cooper is now bringing his unique voice to a children’s tale ‘ narrating Peter and Wolf in Hollywood, a new version of Prokofiev’s classic with a modern twist.
The album will be released on Deutsche Grammophon on 13 November, along with a specially-designed iPad app aimed at children (age 5-8). It has been created by New York-based production company Giants Are Small, acclaimed for their signature fusion of theatre, live filmmaking, puppetry, and music. It is co-directed by live animation masters Doug Fitch and Edouard Getaz. The music is performed by the National Youth Orchestra of Germany, conducted by Alexander Shelley.
Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood tells the familiar tale of the resourceful Russian boy, but with a thrilling prequel set in modern-day Los Angeles, set off by the wolf’s escape from the local zoo! Alice Cooper voices all of the characters (from the chirpy bird to the menacing wolf) as Peter embarks on a journey of robot building, a helicopter chase, and some melancholic introspection, all before he enters the forbidden meadow where he finally captures the wolf. The prequel includes a selection of works by great classical composers ‘ introducing children to music by Mahler, Wagner, Elgar, Puccini, Grieg and many more.
Cooper is delighted with the story’s modern-day twist. ‘I love the fact that it’s moved on, and that Peter has come to Los Angeles to meet his grandfather, who turns out to be an old hippie! That gives the story a fresh dynamic. And I like that he’s not in the least bit terrified by the wolf, when everybody else is freaking out.’
Cooper says that narrating the tale took him back to his childhood. ‘I first heard this back in Detroit, when I was six or seven years old. My mum put the record on and I was instantly transported to another world,’ he recalls. ‘And it has been huge fun for me to do something new after nearly 50 years in the business.’
Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood ‘ The App
The Peter and the Wolf in Hollywood app is aimed at deepening children’s engagement with both the music and the story. For each character in the story, the app offers a game that emphasises the personality conveyed by the musical theme. At each key turning point in the story, the child can help Peter in his daring quest to rescue the wolf that has escaped from the zoo.
Giants Are Small’s trademark style combining magical visuals, touching characters, and tone-perfect comic timing opens a fresh view of Peter’s adventure – and a fresh hearing of Prokofiev’s classic score, which is performed in full, by a live orchestra.
A bonus section, featuring short videos, explores the making of the project, including how the music was recorded, and the fascinating creative process behind the visuals of the app.
The result is an album and interactive app with a humourous and fresh take on a timeless classic, exploring themes of family and friendship, courage and heroism, which can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.
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