Saturday 14th August, 19.45 & Sunday 15th August, 17.15
Vocal Motions Elastic Theatre


Synopsis & Genesis


Fusing dance-theatre and opera, Baroccata is an imaginary journey across Baroque ideas about the body, venturing into the intimate and sometimes dysfunctional relationship between art, science and religion.

Inspired by seventeenth century artworks and science texts (ranging from Caravaggio’s paintings and Bernini’s sculptures to t he theories of humours, spirits and the motion of the heart and blood), absurd stories develop across intersecting tableaux. Here we follow the journey of an Artist, striving to represent the Ecstasy of St. Theresa, and a Scientist, studying a patient to det ermine whether blood circulates in the body or evaporates into spirits, which in turn become our thoughts and our soul… Along the way, an Angel and Doubting Thomas (the apostle who would not believe the descent of Christ unless he could touch him with his own hands), keep bickering with one another, symbolising the tension between religious faith and doubt. Then there is Puzzled Jesus, the quintessential enigma. His body conveys all the contradictions of the Baroque – a field of sacred, voyeuristic, anatomical and superstitious views. As art and science gradually move towards secular doubt, he keeps appearing and disappearing: perhaps by miracle, or perhaps by accident.


For Tête á Tête Opera Festival, this is the first staging of Baroccata, which will continue to develop in 2011, supported by the Wellcome Trust. Under the direction of Jacek Ludwig Scarso, all aspects of the work have been approached collaboratively, exploring ideas from scratch and increasingly shaping these into a non-linear narrative. This is true for the score too, developed by Andrew Morley, which relies on a strong use of structured improvisations and also features the unusual integration of toy pianos. Strong references to Baroque conventions in music, art and theatre permeate the piece, in a contemporary tribute to a cultural movement of true extravagance, ambiguity and radically changing perspectives.


Concept and Direction: Jacek Ludwig Scarso

The Artist: Chiara D’Anna

Music Team Coordinator: Maya Sapone

Composer/Musical Supervisor: Andrew Morley

The Scientist: Giovanni Bienne

Cello: Anna Tam

Production Dramaturg: Eva Danickova

Puzzled Jesus: Adam Kirkham

Toy Pianos: Kate Ryder

Senior Dramaturg: Rishi Trikha

Theresa in Ecstasy: Maya Sapone

Flute: Eva Caballero

Science Consultant: Sheelagh Heugh

Doubting Thomas: Maxine Calleja

Clarinet: Gordon Curtis

Movement Coach: Chiara D’Anna

An Angel: Madalena Pinto

Trio Voice: Clemmie Franks, Emily Burn,

Costume Designer: Nadia Malik

Man under surgery: Danny Standing

Victoria Couper.

Costume Assistant: Alicia Bevan


Technical Manager: Drew Turner




Vocal Motions Elastic Theatre was founded in 2001 by Jacek Ludwig Scarso, who has conceived and directed its internationally acclaimed stage-works ever since, with the aim of exploring innovative combinations of dance-theatre, vocal music and devised performance. Through the creative input of Maya Sapone (soprano and creative associate) and Andrew Morley (composer and musical supervisor), movement director Chiara D’Anna and dramaturges Rishi Trikha and Eva Danickova, the company’s recent work has increasingly focussed on applying collaborative and improvisational methodologies to the field of contemporary opera . The hybrid quality of our projects, questioning the stability of any given style (including opera), reflects the eclectic mix of performers that collaborate with the company, each one bringing a different creative angle and discipline to the development of our piec es. We also challenge our work to be as versatile as possible (in this sense, “elastic”): all of our productions radically change according to the venues we use, sympathetically responding to their architecture and mood. Baroccata, for instance, has been developed both as a theatrical piece as well as a live installation designed for museums and gallery spaces. Together with the Riverside Studios, Vocal Motions Elastic Theatre has presented its stage-works in venues including the Arcola Theatre, the Southwark Playhouse, St James’s Piccadilly and the Battersea Art Centre and, outside the UK, Le Pave D’Orsay (Paris), Theatre 145 (Grenoble), Teatro Abarico and Teatro Sala Uno in Rome. The company works in collaboration with The Facility: Centre for Creative Practice and the Department of Humanities, Arts, Languages and Education at LMU, where Jacek Ludwig Scarso is Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts and Theatre Skills Coordinator. Current and forthcoming collaborations include NOA Festival in Vilnius, the Arts Arena i n Paris and the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York. For more details and for company members’ biographies,