More auditions for The Remake in Birmingham!

 

We are glad to announce another round of auditions/workshops for Cosi fan tutte – The Remake. If you fancy taking on a new challenge, this might be just the right project! The auditions will be held in Birmingham, in the Five Ways area, in the week of 21 January. Please be aware that these are not “normal” auditions, but vocal workshops with the composer, Luca Tieppo, where you will be working on the new score, for both solos and ensemble pieces.

Before applying, please read details of the production below – this is by no means a traditional Cosi fan tutte ! The story and the libretto are being re-written to make the opera relevant to a modern audience and the original score is also being re-composed with jazz and pop influences and harmonies. The Remake invites the conversation about human relationships and sexual identities; it neither glorifies or vilifies one or another party but instead focuses on the concept of consent and communication within love. Without spoiling the finale, in this production the girls will make a play with the boys swapping roles (and music!) with them.

If you would like to be a part of this fun and inclusive show, drop our producer, Tamara an email with your CV and a link to some singing of yours, and let us know what available dates you could offer in the w/c 21 January. Tamara will be in touch to send you full details of the audition/workshops and the score. Application deadline 16 January 2019

We aim to find potentially 2 casts to take part in the second phase of development, in early March 2019. This phase will consist of a 5-day workshop period (paid) with the whole creative team, that is the composer/MD and the two librettists/co-directors. During these workshops, the performers will have the opportunity to work on an extended section of Act 1. The final session will consist of an open workshop where we will invite promoters, producers, funders, etc. Full production is being planned for the Autumn 2019 in the Midlands.

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With a brand-new re-composition of the original score by Luca Tieppo and a compelling new drama and libretto by Becca Marriott and Iskandar Sharazuddin, Cosi fan tutte – The Remake will make audiences see the archetypes of Mozart’s opera in a new light.

Modern adaptations of well-known operas usually intervene on the libretto only but leave the original music score untouched. We have always thought this creates a sense of alienation between the dramatic performance and the musical landscape, which remains frozen in a specific time regardless of how the libretto is adapted. We would like to try a different way, that of the Remake – to create a fresh, coherent production where not only staging and libretto are intimately connected, but also the music is moulded by using different stylistic and vocal approaches that combine the source material with contemporaneity.

Why remake Cosi?

In a post MeToo world, what place is there for an opera in which two young sisters are tricked into sexual encounters with each other’s fiancees, and are subsequently shamed for having been duped and, in essence, sexually assaulted? What place is there for an opera in which the man who orchestrates this uncomfortable plot ends the tale victorious, while all the women are left dumbfounded? How can we rehabilitate Cosi fan tutte? How can such an opera survive in the 21st Century?

We will be exploring ideas of love, sexual liberation, fidelity and feminism as perceived by young people from different cultural backgrounds. In our remake of Cosi fan tutte, Fida (Ferrando) is a young barrister of Pakistani origins, Bella (Dorabella) is an Afro-British young woman whose parents were part of the Windrush generation, Lily (Fiordiligi) is a Malay-Chinese Muslim girl with all the tropes of an Asian upbringing.

The key to this story, to us, seems to be Despina (Regina). A strong woman, who rules the roost, but whom Da Ponte and Mozart make a puppet in Alfonso’s game. We wanted to flip the ending and see Despina on top, broadcasting her message of female independence, and to undermine the puppet master, Alfonso, and leave him humbled by his journey.

CHARACTERS

Alfonso – A jaded and bitter divorce lawyer in his mid-fifties. Alfonso is Italian-British and is one of the most sought after divorce lawyers in Temple. He is successful, ruthless, and approaches his personal and  professional life with rigour.

William – A young arrogant man in his mid-twenties that comes from wealth and a long line of successful men. William graduated in the top of his class with an MA from Cambridge University. William “Will” comes from a conservative West London family that has traditional values, though on more than one occasion Will pushes the boundaries as sometimes he feels hemmed in by his class, upbringing, and social status.

Fida – A young and deeply proud Pakistani man in his mid-twenties. Fida is the crown jewel of his deeply religious and conservative Islamic family. His success in attending Cambridge, becoming a barrister, and now the fact that he has met and plans to wed Lily is held in the highest of regards. Fida is very resistant to change and is seriously troubled by the statements of Alfonso.

Bella – A North London Afro-British woman in her early twenties. Bella is from Crouch End, her parents vote Labour and David Lammy is a household hero. Her parents is a self-made and part of the Windrush generation. Bella assumes traditional ideas of fidelity but would
eschew them publicly.

Lily – A Malay-Chinese Muslim girl with all the tropes of an Asian upbringing. Lily has been encouraged into learning violin, pursuing
academia, and finding a husband. Lily’s escape has been English Literature. She is sexually meek, prudish, and mild-mannered. Lily’s understanding of love comes from her books and as such she is sexually repressed.

Regina/Despina – An energetic, impassioned, and compellingly beautiful woman in her early seventies who has held tenure at the university for a long time. Regina is anti-establishment despite working for King’s College and displays this by staging guerrilla feminist activist events, chairing meetings and talks on sexual liberation and rights for women. She has cast off her own name which is linked to ideas of monarchy, patriarchy, and wealth, instead assuming Despina, the feminine of despotism.