The year is 1536. For the past three years, England and its people have been at the mercy of a hostile political environment after the country renounced its ties to the Roman Catholic Church. At the heart of this conflict stand two English Queens: Catherine of Aragon, a devout Roman Catholic, and Anne Boleyn, the woman who inspired the English reformation.
The Winter Of Our Discontent is an unconventional dramatic-recital that combines texts by William Shakespeare with the contemporary music of Hans Werner Henze and the historical music of John Dowland, Thomas Campion and Robert Johnson to conjure the spirits of Shakespeare’s most dramatic characters: Richard III, Juliet and Lady Macbeth.
Even though Henry Purcell’s opera, Dido and Aeneas, was first written and performed over three-hundred years ago, we believe that this opera can tell a powerful story that will resonate with contemporary audiences. In our retelling, Dido finds herself the target of social and cyber bullying after an impulsive affair with her long-time crush, Aeneas. This is a site-specific, interactive performance that explores the ways bullying can manifest in the technological era and the destructive effects it has on its victims.
Our re:Write workshop is dedicated to collaborating on the creation of new dramatic and operatic works. We ask our collaborators to use historical stories, performance practices and concepts to inspire the creation of new works. We challenge them to play with history and question what they would change and how they would change it if they were to re:Write the past.
In its original form, Acis & Galatea is an 18th century pastoral opera, which depicts the myth of the shepherd, Acis, who falls in love with the nymph and demi-godess, Galatea. Despite their unconventional affair, they carry out their love in the privacy of the woods with other nymphs and shepherds. But they are soon discovered by another demi-god, Polyphemus, who also loves Galatea and believes she should be with him instead.