From Aesop's Fables to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland to the Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, The Places You'll Go! plenty of kids' books are packed with important life lessons for grown-ups. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's 1943 novella The Little Prince is no exception. Inspired by the author's career as an aviator, the book tells the story of an pilot who meets The Little Prince, an intense young man with a crown of golden hair, after his plane crashes in the Sahara Desert. The two become friends. From spending time with the Prince and hearing the boy's stories, the aviator realizes adults have a lot to learn from children. The book has made a profound impression on many adults in the 65 years since it was published: James Dean could recite entire passages from the book, and Morrissey is reading a copy in the "Suedehead" video. Saint-Exupéry's narrative has even been the subject of three operas an artform that isn't exactly known for attracting minors. Having received its premiere at the Houston Grand Opera, composer Rachel Portman and librettist Nicholas Wright's playful, family-friendly adaptation of The Little Prince gets a visually stunning co-production from San Francisco Opera and Cal Performances, and it's bound to bring out the inner child in anyone who goes.
Fri., May 2, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., May 3, 7:30 p.m.; May 4-11, 3 p.m., 2008