Jorinda was originally envisioned using puppetry in centre stage with singers positioned on the either side, performing in more of an oratorio or opera-in-concert format. This idea was inspired by a brilliant production of Strindberg’s Dream Play by Tarragon Theatre from their 1978 season where the characters were all puppets created by Felix Mirbt, manipulated by puppeteers in formal attire with voice actors on platforms on stage left and right. Jamieson kept this idea in mind for years as a potentially fascinating and successful way to stage an opera.
In the early stages of composition, he imagined singers not playing the parts but singing them. Later, though, he envisioned a work that also could be traditionally staged with singers both acting and singing the parts. It would work well with either approach.