Verdi’s Macbeth Reimagined in the Democratic Republic of Congo
The Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University is collaborating with the renowned Philadelphia Fringe Festival to bring this acclaimed U.S. Premiere to American audiences on Sept. 16 & 17.
Nobulumko Mngxekeza as Lady Macbeth – photo by Nicky Newman
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (August 23, 2016) — Executive Director of the Quick Center for the Arts, Peter Van Heerden announces the U.S. premiere of Brett Bailey’s radical, live opera Macbeth, which will be taking the stage at the Quick Center this Sept. 16 and 17, 2016. In collaboration with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Bailey’s adaptation of Macbeth will be presented to American audiences for the first time. This unique adaptation of Verdi’s opera, which reimagines Macbeth a dictator in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was devised under the artistic direction of Brett Bailey with his performance company, Third World Bunfight, who hail from South Africa.
The decision to bring Macbeth to the Quick Center stage comes on the heels of rave reviews for the production. After a four continent tour in 2014, Bailey’s adaptation of Verdi’s opera was given four stars and dubbed “astonishing” by Britain’s The Telegraph.
In this production, Shakespeare’s story of ambition, treachery and witchcraft is set in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, amongst wars and ruthless exploitation. Within a milieu of multinational double-dealings, ethnic conflict, brutal militia, “blood minerals” and glittering Chinese imports, a Congolese warlord and his ambitious wife murder their leader and unleash atrocities on the crumbling African province that they seize.
The opera will be performed live by an ensemble of ten South African opera singers, and the local and renowned Greater Bridgeport Symphony led by Serbian conductor, Premil Petrovic.
The concept, design and direction are all led by Brett Bailey, a South African playwright, designer, director, and installation maker whose works have played across the globe in Europe, Australia, Africa and Latin America, and have won several awards, including a gold medal for design at the Prague Quadrennial (2007). His iconoclastic works, which interrogate the dynamics of the post-colonial world, also include the musical dramas Big Dada, Ipi Zombi?, iMumbo Jumbo and Orfeus, and the performance installation, Exhibit B.
Tickets are priced at $65, $55 for the public, $42 for QCA Members, and $5 for Fairfield University Students.
To order tickets, visit quickcenter.com or call the Box Office at 203-254-4010 or toll-free 1-877-254-4010.
Unanimous Critical Praise for Third World Bunfight’s Macbeth
” … there can be no denying the power
and originality of this astonishing
appropriation of Verdi’s Macbeth.”
– The Telegraph (4 stars)
“ … complex and arresting.”
– Broadway World
“… fiercely modern, delivered in
a traditional operatic style that is
arresting, unnerving and wholly
refreshing.” – Time Out, London
” … a fiercely intelligent dissection of the
corporate forces that keep the Democratic
Republic of Congo wading knee-deep
through a river of gore.” – LONDON CITY LIGHTS
Vol. 49 No. 11
Fairfield University is a Jesuit University, rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from 36 states, 47 foreign countries, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are enrolled in the University’s five schools. In the spirit of rigorous and sympathetic inquiry into all dimensions of human experience, Fairfield welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to share ideas and engage in open conversations. The University is located in the heart of a region where the future takes shape, on a stunning campus on the Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.