Citizens of Nowhere

Produced by Ophera Company


7:00pm – 7:40pm | Saturday 12 August 2017

RADA Studios Theatre, 16 Chenies Street, London, WC1E 7EX


Early Bird Tickets (Until 19th June): £5

Advance Online: £7.50 | Door/Phone: £9.50


Citizens of Nowhere is a miniature opera-ballet by composer Anna Appleby and choreographer Dane Hurst. Three islanders witness great tragedy while stranded on the mainland, and are forced to confront the prejudices of their home. The story was inspired by recent political events, and focuses on recognising common humanity.


Music & Words | Anna Appleby

Director & Choreographer | Dane Hurst

Conductor | Simon Robertshaw


Dancers | Ryan Taylor, Eleanor Stevenson & Zunnur Sazali


Soprano | Ann Wilkes & Helen Lacey

Mezzo-Soprano | Emma Wheeler

Oboe / Cor Anglais | George Strickland

Bassoon | Alice Braithwaite

Cello | Kotryna Siugzdinyte


–  –  –  –  –


Citizens of Nowhere from Tête à Tête #2 on Vimeo.


Citizens of Nowhere

Ophera Company 


Music and Words: Anna Appleby

Director and Choreographer: Dane Hurst


Conductor: Simon Robertshaw

Sopranos: Ann Wilkes and Helen Lacey

Mezzo Soprano: Emma Wheeler

Oboe/Cor Anglais: George Strickland

Bassoon: Alice Braithwaite

Cello: Kotryna Siugzdinyte

Dancers: Zunnur Sazali, Eleanor Stephenson, Liam Giacuzzo


Also on Saturday 12 August 2017…


5:00pm – 6:00pm : Proposition for a Conversation About a Silent Opera on Tehching Hsieh

7:05pm – 7:35pm :  Belongings

8:00pm – 8:30pm : Schutzwall

8:50pm – 9:20pm : To Himself, Alone

8:55pm – 9:25pm : The Hive

Listen Now: Road Memoir: The Podcast Opera


Citizens of Nowhere

Ophera Company 


Music and Words: Anna Appleby

Director and Choreographer: Dane Hurst


Conductor: Simon Robertshaw

Sopranos: Ann Wilkes and Helen Lacey

Mezzo Soprano: Emma Wheeler

Oboe/Cor Anglais: George Strickland

Bassoon: Alice Braithwaite

Cello: Kotryna Siugzdinyte

Dancers: Zunnur Sazali, Eleanor Stephenson, Liam Giacuzzo



Citizens of Nowhere is a miniature opera-ballet. It tells the story of three islanders who become stranded on the mainland during a storm. Tragedy befalls the island, and the characters are forced to confront the prejudices of their home. Citizens of Nowhere explores universal themes of loss, conflict and collective identity, and was inspired by the variety of responses that the UK has had to recent political events including Brexit and the Syrian refugee crisis. The story focuses on breaking down physical boundaries, fostering empathy, and recognising common humanity. This performance is the result of a year-long collaboration with choreographer Dane Hurst originally created as part of the Cohan Collective 2016/17 and with support from Arts Council England, Ignition Dance Festival, and Shawbrook Dance. “There is an overall narrative of isolation and grief turning into hope, of barriers and borders being overcome by human connection. I believe that within the current political climate, art is especially vital in encouraging empathy, honesty and community.” – Anna Appleby



Scene 1: The Island

Three islanders are waiting for the morning ferry to take them to work on the mainland. They are preoccupied with heartbreak (Ann), work anxieties (Helen) and the brooding weather (Emma).


Scene 2: The Mainland

The three islanders are stranded on the mainland, waiting for the early ferry home which has not appeared. A storm arrives, and a boat is dashed against the rocks.


Scene 3: The Exodus

A deathly calm. The three islanders are back home. The island is in shock. The islanders decide to leave, after discovering that only one person (the first islander’s ex-lover) went to the aid of a boat of mainlanders that was destroyed, and he drowned with them.



Anna Appleby is a Manchester-based composer and Rambert’s current Music Fellow. Her work has been performed on BBC Radio 3, in the Holywell Music Room, RNCM Concert Hall, the Southbank Centre and the Sage Gateshead. Anna has been in residence with Streetwise Opera, Quay Voices, Brighter Sound and the Cohan Collective. Collaboration is at the heart of her creative practice.


Dane Hurst is a South African born, London-based Dancer, Choreographer and Creative Director. He won the Critics Circle, Best Male Dancer of the Year Award in 2014. He has created and performed work for Barbican, RichMix, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wiltons Music Hall, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Wilderness Festival, Linbury Theatre, The Place, Lilian Baylis Theatre, Peacock Theatre, Hall for Cornwall and the former Commonwealth Institute. Dane is founder and Artistic Director of the

Moving Assembly Project.


Simon Robertshaw has conducted professionally for 15 years and recently completed his CPD conducting studies at the RNCM in Manchester. He was a member of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra for 14 years and left to pursue his career in conducting. Recent operas have included Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz’ at the RNCM.


Helen Lacey is a soprano currently studying with Sandra Dugdale and is recent graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music. During her studies she has been awarded the Elsie Thurston Prize and the Chris Petty Song Prize. She has performed as Carmela in Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street, as 1st Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, and as Joan in Kurt Weil’s Street Scene. Helen

has recently performed the soprano solos in Britten’s Te Deum at the Royal Albert Hall. Other performances include: Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Zorah in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore. 


Ann Wilkes is a twenty-four year old soprano from Yorkshire. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and was awarded a first-class honours degree. Ann will continue her studies as a postgraduate at the RNCM with Louise Winter as her teacher. While at the RNCM Ann has been Moth in their production of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ann has performed as a guest soloist with many choirs as well as at the Buxton Festival as part of their Song at Six series.


Emma Wheeler is a mezzo soprano who has recently graduated with a first-class honours degree from the Royal Northern College of Music studying with Susan Roper, where she will commence postgraduate studies in September. Recent performances include Longborough Opera Festival’s The Magic Flute in July 2017 and the same festival’s Le Nozze di Figaro in July 2016, the role of Louise in RNCM’s 2016 winter term opera La Vie Parisienne, Leeds Youth Opera’s Le Nozze di Figaro in February 2016, RNCM’s Cosi Fan Tutti, Street Scene, The Merry Widow and L’elisir D’amore and the Opera Studio Melbourne’s Eugene Onegin, The Juniper Tree and Orpheus and the Underworld. 


George Strickland is a postgraduate John Fewkes Instrumental Scholar at the Royal Northern College of Music, studying oboe under Melinda Maxwell and Cor Anglais under Rachel Pankhurst and Thomas Davies. Prior to this he studied under Christine Swain at the University of Leeds. George enjoys a busy a varied professional life as an orchestral oboist, soloist, rehearsal pianist and orchestrator/arranger. He works around the country with various groups, and has performed at the Bridgewater Hall, Wigmore Hall, and appeared on BBC Radio Leeds and Lancashire.


Alice Braithwaite has just completed a Masters in bassoon at the RNCM. Alice has worked alongside Manchester Camerata, Mahler Chamber orchestra and has been a student on the Hallé Professional Experience Scheme as well as performing with RNCM orchestras. With the Akropli Quintet she has worked with composers and ensembles such as Colin Matthews and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, and as a soloist she has performed regularly at New Hall Cardiff and St Anne’s Church, Manchester.


Kotryna Šiugdždinytė is a keen chamber musician and winner of several international solo competitions, and has been working closely with various young composers including recordings for D.Digimas and R.Thorpe, premiere of A.Smith’s ‘pulse’ for Cello and Orchestra (April 2017). Described as ‘an artist of strong temperament’, Kotryna strongly believes in the magic of music making through direct collaboration.


Zunnur Sazali is originally from Singapore andin her final year of the BA (Hons) in Contemporary Dance at London Contemporary Dance School. Zunnur was part of the pioneer batch at School of the Arts (Singapore) and excelled with an International Baccalaureate Diploma (Bilingual). She has great experiences in both traditional and contemporary worlds having to dance with a classical Malay dance company, Sri Warisan Som Said Performing Arts Ltd at a young age and also a contemporary dance company, The Human Expression (T.H.E.) Second Dance Company, both based in Singapore. She is currently a recipient of the prestigious National Arts Council Scholarship (Singapore).


Eleanor Stephenson is excited to be performing Citizens of Nowhere. She is currently completing her second year at the Rambert School. Having worked with choreographers Dane Hurst, Richard Alston, Arielle Alexandra and orchestral company City of London Sinfonia, Eleanor will also be joining Jason Mabana Dance as an apprentice dancer this summer.


Liam Giacuzzo has studied with Doriana Comar, Carlos Gacio, Georgina Ramos Hernandez, Bruno Vescovo, Pompea Santoro and Simona Noja. Liam graduated from Wiener Staatsoper Ballettschüle in 2013. While with the Eko Dance Company, he has danced new pieces from choreographers such as Pedro Gomez, Paolo Mohovic, Marco de Alteriis, and he is also dancer with The Very Secret Dance Society, directed by Raffaele Irace.



Primary sponsors: Arts Council England Grants for the Arts: Sheila Forbes CBE

Secondary sponsors: Ruth Appleby: Richard Gooding

Crowdfunders: Paola Judith Beare: Goran Begonja: Abigail Ellison: Christine Gaffney: James Galvin: Rachel Mann: Walter Plinge (anon) Rebecca Semmens-Wheeler

With thanks to: The Cohan Collective: Ignition Dance Festival: Shawbrook Dance: Rambert Dance Company: Janet and John Appleby: The Royal Northern College

of Music: Tête à Tête





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