RUFUS AND RITA is a 30-minute opera for young audiences. It is scored for four adult singers of any voice type; singers may adjust octaves as necessary, so any part can be sung by a male or female voice. A chamber version of the accompaniment is also available, played by a flexible-instrumentation ensemble of piano with two treble instruments and one bass instrument.

This show contains many improvised elements, from spoken dialogue to improvised vocal parts. Instructions are given throughout the score.

The libretto is also flexible; hence, at several points in the show, the audience votes on what happens next, from choices given by a narrator. Some musical numbers, as well as props and set accessories, are determined by the choice. For instance, if the audience votes for Rufus to have found a dog biscuit, then 2a. The Dog Treat is used (and 2b. Fido's Lament is omitted.) The pianist can serve as the narrator, who announces what is being voted on and tallies the vote by observing a show of hands.

RUFUS AND RITA was commissioned and premiered by Reimagining Opera for Kids (ROK),
Kim Carballo, Director.