Wallace DePue's delightful True Story of the Three Little Pigs makes a great introduction to opera for families and children of all ages. With familiar characters (and some you didn't expect!), an up-close and casual performance space, and an attention-friendly 40-minute duration, this is the perfect opportunity for the whole family to discover together the joys of music drama. 

After the show, families stay to enjoy piggy-themed crafts and activities, complimentary popcorn and lemonade, and Q&As and photo opps with cast members! Special guest, composer Wallace DePue will join audience members during the performance on July 25! Surprises abound!



Production Team



Music and Libretto   Wallace DePue   Mother Pig   Mary Beth Sederburg
Director   Dennis Robinson, Jr.   1st Pig   Anqwenique Wingfield
Conductor   Karen Jeng Lin   2nd Pig   Valerie Hosler
Scenic Designer   Christine Lee Won   3rd Pig   Billy Wayne Coakley
Costume Designer   Elizabeth Rishel   Big Bad Wolf   Zachary Luchetti
 Stage Manager   Collin Ziegler        

Running time: approximately 40-minutes with no intermission. 


The Story 

Mother Pig is forced to send her children into the world to fend for themselves. Intent upon building a house, each of the three piglets chooses to explore a different direction. Upon completion of their dwellings, each piglet has an encounter with the Big Bad Wolf. All of them leave their homes and return to Mother Pig. To their disappointment, they are tracked by the Big Bad Wolf.

The Three Pigs

Photo by Mark Abramowitz

The wolf tries to break into Mother Pig's house by ramming the front door with his head. He gets injured and cannot remember anything. The pigs persuade him that he is a bear. They send him "home" to Mrs. Grizzly's den. She is not pleased to receive him and says that he is really "for the birds." Convinced that he is a bird, the wolf tries to fly from a cliff and is injured even further.

As the pigs celebrate the end of the wolf, they are interrupted by Mrs. Grizzly Bear. She pounds upon the front door and begs to enter. When the pigs refuse to admit a bear into their home, Mrs. Grizzly becomes hostile and promises to return. The pigs prepare to cope with their new problem.

At the same time an opera story is unfolding on stage, the pianist is trying to present a formal piano recital on the same stage! They are surprised to become involved in the operatic action, even becoming engrossed in what is happening and providing appropriate musical accompaniment. The simultaneous activities of opera and recital finally merge with the moral of the story: “Sometimes a problem can seem to last for an eternity”!



Meet the Composer

Wallace Earl De Pue
01 October 1932–

Wallace De Pue was born in Columbus, Ohio, to Oscar and Lillian De Pue. At Ohio State University High School, Wallace studied oil painting. He also learned about script writing and wrote a series of radio shows that were broadcast over local radio. In addition, he wrote his first operetta libretto and also composed music for his class graduation ceremony.

Wallace De Pue

He completed two bachelor degrees within five years, one in music education (BME) and another in music composition (BM). At Ohio State University, he completed a Master of Arts degree (MA). He earned a Ph.D. in music composition and theory at Michigan State University.

In 1966, he joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.  He has published more than fifty of his works (for nearly all media), through many international music publishers, as well as his own firm, Picardie Court Publishers.

Three of his operas have been produced: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Something Special,  and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. The Wonderful Witch of Oz, his new opera, is aimed at pre-school children and is written on the subject of ecology. Dr. De Pue has won consecutive ASCAP awards for more than 26 years, and in 2014, won the “Gold Medal” award of the Boston Metro Opera. 

Since 1998, Wallace De Pue has been a Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University, where he authored Creative Music Theory Skills, a textbook covering beginning music theory for potential composers.

In 2006, Dr. De Pue's compositions were featured on The American Masters Concert Series, hosted by Maestro Paul Stanbery, and the Hamilton/Fairfield Symphony Orchestra and Chorale. On March 5, in Hamilton, Ohio, world premieres of Dr. De Pue’s Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra, and the orchestra’s commissioned work, The Bird, Frog and Tree Club, were performed with great success and a standing ovation. On January 18, Maestro Stanbery and the HMSO Board of Directors entered Dr. De Pue’s commissioned work for consideration by the Pulitzer Prize In Music Committee of 2007.




Other Resources

Learn more about opera and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs with activities from the study guide.