The 111-year-old Wilmington Grand Opera House, an unmatched example of Second Empire cast iron, will have the premier of Gian-Carlo Menotti's one-act children's opera, "The Boy Who Grew Too Fast," this weekend.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Menotti, who was commissioned to write the work by OperaDelaware, through a partial grant from the Du Pont Company, also gets the director's credit for the production, while artist Jamie Wyeth donated a drawing for the program and Wyeth's cousin, Cynthia du Pont Tobias, designed the sets. The orchestra and cast are made up of volunteers, including star Phillip Peterson, a Temple University voice student in his first major role.

Tickets for Friday's opening-night performance and party, starting at 8, are $20 for adults and $10 for children and students. For performances Saturday at 2 and 8, and Sunday at 2, tickets are $10 and $5. The recently restored opera house is in the heart of downtown at 818 Market Street Mall. The box office phone is 302/652-5577.

Meanwhile, you can help support the opera company and have fun at the same time by visiting Belleview, a grand old du Pont estate in nearby Claymont, Delaware, on Marsh Road off I-95. Twenty-three of the main house's 45 rooms have been given over to area interior designers to do with what they will. Admission $5, with a discount for groups of 20. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 4, and Sunday from 1 to 5, through October 10. Call Norma Reid at 302/478-6176.