My intention is to fashion a vital and living consciousness into the puppets which I create. To give voice to the silence, form to the shapeless and depth to the mystifying inhabitants of invention and fantasy. For me, the carving of a puppet is a sacred act.

- Dalrymple MacAlpin


The Rumpelstilzchen marionette opera is a forthcoming project by Dalrymple MacAlpin.

It will contain a full orchestral score entirely sung and preformed by hand carved puppets. In addition to marionettes with fully articulated moving mouths, a variety of other puppetry arts will be utilized in the production, including projections of stop motion silhouettes.

The opera, although inspired by the popular fairy tale from The Brothers Grimm, will actually focus on an original back story of who Rumpelstilzchen is, where his obscure lineage originates and how he acquired the alchemical power to spin ordinary straw into golden thread. These questions and more will be answered for the curious seeker, eager to find out what lay behind the curtain of this abiding and perennial fairy tale.

Dalrymple and 3 puppets.jpg

Photo by Waking Crow

Stay tuned for updates & further details.

Rumpel headshot.jpg

Photo by Waking Crow


Lyric tenor

Rumpelstilzchen is known by many names and in nearly every corner of this world and the other. He possesses many faces too; trickster, jester, wisecracker, storyteller and madcap magic fairy wizard. He is a clever and cunning spriggan of a sprite whose mischievous laughter rings with impish delight. Rumpel’s language is one of riddles and all manner of twisting crooked pathways of spells does he sing. Contrary to popular belief he is not a strange little man. Rumpel capers and cackles without a drop of human blood in his pint-sized veins. For his power comes from something entirely inhuman…

Dortchen head.jpeg

Dortchen Wild


Dortchen is an ancient elder, a mossy green witch mother and alchemist of great power. The weathered and worn spell book which grows from the roof of her skull contains the various ingredients of her highly potent potions. The arias which she sings with her crone like croon are also notated onto these venerable pages and all manner of other worldly wisdoms as well. Dortchen speaks freely with animals, plants and herbs and she compels them with sorcery to do her bidding. In her solitary abode, made out of a living yew tree, she resides, completely dedicated to the path of higher knowledge.

Photo by Waking Crow


Herbert Feenwald

Bel canto baritone

Herbert, the jolly miller, exists without a cruel bone in his able body. Truly his luck grows with every sunrise, for he is indeed the jolliest man in the land. Herbert’s power of innate joy comes from his voice, for when he sings, even the foulest hearted fellow will find a cheerful twinkle in his eye. After a day of milling and singing, Herbert eases his mind with a bit of sweet-smelling pipe smoke and a glass of strong ale. His happy go lucky nature assures that he travels through life without a single drop of distress or a smidgen of sorrow. Wherever Herbert is to be found, you can be sure gladness and laughter will follow in his wake.

Photo by Waking Crow

Rumpel’s Riddles video series 

Introducing a new puppet video series coming out every Wednesday called Rumpel's Riddles. Rumpelstilzchen is trying his best to outwit you, yes you! with his inexhaustible book of riddles and bewildering conundrums. Those who answer correctly get their name announced during the following Wednesday’s riddle by the mischief maker himself. Rumpel is ready to challenge the wittiest among you, but be not afraid to venture forth with your guesses.

Get involved and check on the latest riddle every Wednesday by visiting my Youtube channel at -

Dalrymple Youtube channel