The Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) in partnership with Third World Bunfight, will host a presentation on Brett Bailey’s latest adaptation of Guiseppe Verdi’s opera, Macbeth, and a performance of excerpts from the adapted music, on Saturday 1 June at the Orchestra Rehearsal Room, Artscape Theatre. This first public performance of the music pre-empts a presentation in Kinshasa and a European tour of the work
In Bailey’s new macbEth, his most radical take on Verdi’s nineteenth century re-interpretation of Shakespeare’s iconic play, the familiar tale of ambition, treachery and witchcraft is set in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa – within a milieu of multinational double-dealings, ethnic conflict, brutal militia, ‘blood minerals’ and glittering Chinese imports. Against this backdrop, a Congolese warlord and his ambitious wife murder their leader and unleash atrocities on the crumbling African province that they seize. The deconstructed, stripped-down work becomes an intimate, highly sculptural and visual performance piece, resonating with post-colonial aesthetics and concerns.
Verdi’s original music has been rescored by multi-award-winning Belgian composer Fabrizio Cassol, for a small ensemble of 11 opera singers and 12 orchestral musicians, to be conducted by Serbian conductor Premil Petrovic. Following a two-week workshop in Cape Town with the musicians and cast, Bailey will present a draft version of the work at Connexion Kin in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, in June. macbEth will premier in Cape Town in 2014, and also travel to Rotterdam, Brussels, Vienna, Hannover, London, Lisbon and Paris.
The staging on 1 June at Artscape will include a presentation on the context and creation of the work, and first public performance of excerpts from the music.
Brett Bailey is an award-winning playwright, director, installation artist and designer. He is the artistic director of Third World Bunfight and was curator of the Infecting the City Public Arts Festival from 2008 – 2011. Bailey has directed, written and produced several other works, which also integrate classical European texts with contemporary African design elements and socio-political contexts, including Orfeus (2006) and medEia (2012). His acclaimed, iconoclastic works focus a probing lens on the world we live in, in particular the post-colonial landscape of Africa.
This presentation and first public performance of excerpts from macbEth will take place at the OrchestraRehearsal Room, Artscape Theatre, at 11:00 on Saturday 1 June; access is via the Orchestra Studio Door. Attendance is free and no booking is required. For more information on this event, please contact the GIPCA office on 021 480 7156 or firstname.lastname@example.org