T.ArT Productions

Cosi – The Remake

Back in April, we had an intensive and immersive 4-day R&D workshop for our  Remake of Cosi fan tutte, where we explored the new score and libretto with our creative team and a fantastic pool of performers.

You can get the flavour of the project in this promo video, which we have filmed during the final session of the workshops. The level of progress we have been able to achieve in such a short amount of time is amazing and we hope you’ll enjoy the snippets, while we look forward to telling you more about the next steps.

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.

Audition workshops in Birmingham for Cosi The Remake

We are very excited to announce audition-workshops for our new project, Così Fan Tutte – The Remake. The workshops will be held in central Birmingham on 19th, 20th, 21st November (morning and afternoon slots; some travel expenses paid). From these sessions, selected performers will be asked to attend a second stage of development in early February 2019 (paid) with a final workshop open to the public and potential promoters. A run of the show is currently being planned for autumn 2019 in the Midlands. At the forefront of this new production is BAME casting and inclusion of performers from diverse artistic and cultural backgrounds.

See below a brief abstract of the story and characters breakdown. Please note that those are ideal casting suggestions but at this stage of development we would like to hear from as many performers as possible, from all musical backgrounds (jazz, musical theatre, opera, etc.) as long as confident music readers, to workshop extracts from the work-in-progress score with the creative team. We would consider adapting the score and/or the libretto for the right candidates.

So if you would like to be involved, please drop Tamara a line with your CV, a link to some of your singing and specify what role you would like to audition for.

Any questions get in touch! Deadline for applications is 10th November.

THE STORY

Young barristers, Will and Fida are the luckiest men in the world. They have great career prospects and more than anything devoted girlfriends, Bella and Lily, both in the final year of English Literature degrees. They have it all. But jaded and bitter divorce lawyer, Alfonso, and anti-establishment university lecturer, Regina (Despina) – who share an open sexual relationship – hatch a plan to disrupt and upend the youngsters’ notions of love and fidelity.

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.

 

Hinckley OFF – Opera Fringe Festival

T· Ar 2016 grand re-opening will be in style!

We’ve recently relocated lives and jobs to the Midlands, and just couldn’t miss the opportunity to bring opera and new music (read ‘opera fringe’) with us. After a few months of networking, friendship making and – above all – thinking, we are now very proud to announce the launch of Hinckley OFF – Opera Fringe Festival. On Friday 1 and Saturday 2 July, in partnership with Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, we stage the first edition of what we hope will soon become a regular seasonal happening.

OFF will be the first festival of its kind, a fringe event exclusively dedicated to opera, a platform where composers, librettists, directors and creative artists will be able to showcase the best that the genre has to offer.

We’ll show you works with a strong sense of theatricality, that speak to their contemporaries and sit outside our preconceived definitions: to be accessible, a work needs to break boundaries.

More info will be available soon, but the programme of this year edition of Hinckley OFF will be as follows:


Friday 1 July | 6.30pm | Hinckley College Theatre | Lower Bond Street | LE10 1QU

Secret Opera presents Bizet’s CARMEN (adult themed – all male cast)


Saturday 2 July | 11am to 1pm | Café Español | Atkins Building | Lower Bond Street | LE10 1QU

Film, Talk & New Opera

Everyday Arias presents Film Shorts & Opera

Introduction to Hinckley OFF & Breakfast

T· ArProductions presents Lady Shakespeare – extracts from a new opera by Luca Tieppo with libretto by Becca Marriott


DON’T MISS IT!!

Hinckley OFF

Agency launching soon

Happy New Year! We’ve been absent for some time thinking about and working on new projects, one of which is T· ArAgency.

Building on our network of personal contacts in the classical music industry in Europe and beyond, we want to be the link between performers and composers, between artists and companies.

The Agency service will be launched soon, and will be dedicated to singers, conductors and directors specialising in contemporary music and seeking representation. If you’re one of them, please do get in touch with your biography and links to your work.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Suggestions of Love on Indiegogo

Become a co-producer of Suggestions of Love for as little as £5!

Suggestions of Love on Indiegogo

We have LOVELY perks to thank you for your support, from a singing lesson to a private chef for two.

Or why not try Sausfest’s handmade Wild Venison sausages, made exclusively for us and for you?

Help us produce four more shows of this magical piece of theatre at Barons Court, London, from 18th to 21st December. You won’t regret it!

 

 

4 STARS for Suggestions of Love

Mistral«A powerful production filled with emotions, music and magic. […]

The character Mr Wyrd – the main protagonist played by director Iskandar R. Sharazuddin – introduces the first of the two realities the play is built around. The first is the magical setting where Mr Wyrd controls and plays with human destinies and encounters. The second is the human world, in which He (played by Nir Kitaro) and She (Claudia Jones) exist. These two realities look into each other and are intimately intertwined. By means of witching boxes and occult mechanisms, Mr Wyrd bends chance to produce the beginning of a love story between He and She.

There’s something very magical about the way the two scenarios are presented. The human world, which is the one we should be able to better relate to, is in fact the more abstract reality. It is only through musical numbers that he and she express their emotions, their fears of being alone and the necessity to connect with another human being. There are no names and no dialogue, only music and feeling. This is a stark contrast with Mr Wyrd’s world, in which ‘scientific’ conversations happen. The audience connects more easily to this magical world, and it is in the human world where our instincts take over. In music lies the most basic of human emotions and it is (very intelligently) the chosen way for He and She to transmit their feelings. In essence, the human world is now ethereal, backed up with blue lighting, white costumes and slow elegant dancing. […]

Overall a wonderful experience.»

Read the full review from Everything Theatre directly from their website.

Brave new world for Opera

As a hardened opera fan I cannot deny enjoying  the standard top ten repertoire. Despite being immersed in the art form since birth, I still love a good cry at an ill fated hero or heroine even if I know they had it coming. Additionally I  like hearing those good old arias being blasted out at full pelt.

However I would like to make a point that although these masterpieces deserve admiration, we need to start embracing new works. Although there are great efforts made to update old shows, there is no harm in experimenting with new musical and theoretical ideas  that  resonate with  the now. Arguably if we never commission new music that reach to bigger audiences, opera will become a mausoleum.

Brave new world or poorer new world the fringe production is a great place to see exciting and unique creations. Fringe theatre since the 16th century was a popular amongst people from all classes.  During this time fringe usually meant free meaning that the playwrights  were not under  royal commission. This certainly  gave  them wider scope to explore subjects that may have otherwise been censored. While  now we are not operating under such strict guidelines, the fringe production does remain dedicated to bring original works to a more diverse audience.

Whilst this has been a tradition in theatre, opera until recently has remained a somewhat fringeless within the UK. Despite the popularity of the “beggars opera”  in 18th century London, only within the past decade we have seen a real demand for fresh new takes on opera culture.

T· ArT Productions are passionate about devising and developing new works that will regenerate opera and stop it from becoming antiquated. Don’t stop loving the classics but broaden your horizons and see something different.

by Francesca Levi

piano score

Suggestions of Love Without Décor

We are very proud to finally land at the King’s Head Theatre with Suggestions of Love as part of their Without Décor programme.

Three shows on Saturdays at 3pm on August 31st, September 7th and 14th. A cast and production team coming from all over the world, including New Zealand, Bahrain, Italy, Persia, Britain and Israel. Iskandar Sharazuddin‘s direction is inspired and magic, Claudia Jones‘s and Nir Kitaro‘s voices blend perfectly to represent the universal characters of two persons in love, and Jeremy (Jez) Hancock‘s Mr Wyrd is extravagant and engaging as it should be.

Your feedback and support is important to us, so come and see us! Tickets are just £8 and on sale from the King’s Head website:

https://kingsheadtheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/873501386/events

Iskandar R. Sharazuddin, director of ‘Suggestions of Love’

Our hunt for a director for the forthcoming production of Suggestions of Love at the King’s Head (and for the autumn performances in a venue we can’t disclose yet, and hopefully for many more to come after those!) has received an incredible response and produced interesting links and collaborations with an amazing bunch of creatives.

But first and foremost it brought to us the young and talented Iskandar Sharazuddin, a writer, director and actor who trained at the Film & Television Institute of Western Australia, and is the current Artistic Director of Ellandar Productions, an independent cross-platform production house based in Perth, Western Australia and London.

Iskandar Sharazuddin bwSince 2010 Iskandar has curated the artistic programme of Ellandar Productions and delivered three critically acclaimed seasons. Most recently he was present at the Fringe World Festival 2013 where the original show “Pity” from Ellandar Productions was awarded second runner-up for Best New Work. In 2012 Iskandar was a member of the original cast of the DreamWorks Theatricals production “How To Train Your Dragon: Live Spectacular” for which he was appointed Dance Captain and Show Swing for the North American leg of the tour. Previous credits with Ellandar Productions include writing and directing the original cabaret musical “A Night of Deceit” in 2010 and being invited to revive the work at the 2012 Fringe World Festival as part of the hub programming and writing and directing “A Gigantic Fuck You To You All” at the award winning comedy venue Lazy Susan’s Den. This year Iskandar is under commission to PhillipsMcIntosh Inc. to write the book for a new musical in 2014, is currently working as the international producer on “Dark Stars” being presented at the United Solo Festival in New York and is writing new material for international choreographer Para Isidro in their second collaboration since 2010’s “Valentine In November” Off-Broadway.