Words: J.D. McClatchy | Music: Daron Hagen

The opera recounts the adventures of a boy named Nemo over the course of two nights. Family visitors and the neighbor’s little girl are transformed in his dreams into fantastic characters, all of them involved in Nemo’s quest to save Slumberland from Emperor Sol, who wants it to be bright, all night and all day. Nemo encounters a crystal enchantress, menacing giants, the impish Flip, the dottering Dr. Pill, along with King Morpheus and his lovely daughter. Nemo’s adventures along the way include a floating bed and a balloon ride, dizzying changes of scale and a palace that turns upside down. As they all realize at the opera’s end: “We need a world where things are different. / We need a world we can’t control, / where nothing is what it seems. / We need a world of dreams.” 


  • 2 Acts / 65 mins.
  • First Production: November 2012 / Sarasota Opera House, Sarasota, FL / Sarasota Youth Opera / Martha Collins / Steven Osgood
  • Commissioned by Sarasota Opera
  • Notable Productions: UK Opera Theater; Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School; Tulsa Youth Opera; Sierra College Opera; Pittsburgh High School for the Performing Arts
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UK Opera Theater photo

UK Opera Theater photo

Tulsa Youth Opera

Tulsa Youth Opera

Sarasota Opera fundraising clip featuring "Little Nemo in Slumberland."


adult roles

  • Guardian of the Dawn / Mother's Voice (soprano)
  • Dr. Pill (tenor)
  • Morpheus / Father's Voice (bass)

children's roles

  • Princess (treble)
  • Flip (treble)
  • Nemo (treble)
  • Giant #1 / Lawyer #1 / Palace Guard #1 (treble)
  • Giant #2 / Lawyer #2 / Palace Guard #2 (treble)
  • Giant #3 / Lawyer #3 / Palace Guard #3 (treble)

treble chorus 

  • The ensemble divides at times into three parts.


Large Version (13 players):


Small Version (8 players):

‘Little Nemo in Slumberland’ has staying power. It has a timeless appeal that will ensure it has many more opportunities to delight audiences.
— Gayle Williams, Herald-Tribune