Saturday 17th August & Sunday 18th August, 2013





The only tango opera in the world, written by Astor Piazzolla and Horacio Ferrer, presented by Opera at Home. This performance of Piazolla’s masterpiece will be a collaboration that crosses the borders of different art forms. Together with visual artist Joanna McCormick and Nonsuch History and Dance Company, Opera at Home will create a visual and musical event, bringing the streets of Buenos Aires to London’s riverside. Joanna McCormick will be painting on stage during the performance. The spirit of the streets of Buenos Aires will be brought to life by Nonsuch History and Dance Company Artistic Director Darren Royston and dressmaker Maria Shatalova.



MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES (written in 1968) tells the story of a young woman born in a poor area of the city. She moves to the city centre, gets swept up into a world of music, dance, sex and crime, and dies young – all of which takes place in Act 1. The second act finds her spirit wandering the streets, commenting on what she sees, and includes a chorus of psychoanalysts. She is finally reborn in a miraculous fashion. MARIA DE BUENOS AIRES is an intense cocktail of poetry, tango music, and dance – performed by a contralto, baritone and male actor. But it’s the fourth voice — the bandoneón (a soulful South American accordion) — that calls the shots and, to borrow Ferrer’s words, “burns in the back of your throat.


Maria de Buenos Aires

Music: Astor Piazzolla

Words: Horacio Ferrer

Director: Jose Gandia

Co-­‐Director: Henriette Rietveld
Producer: Alexia Mankovskaya

Designer: Esengul Sasi

Costume Designer: Maria Shatalova

Choreographer: Darren Royston
Live Painting: Joanna McCormick

Artwork: Artsiom Azarenka

Maria: Alexia Mankovskaya

Sparrow: Victor Sgarbi
Shadow of Maria: Maria Shatalova

Duende: Jose Gandia

Bandoneón: Julian Rowlands
Dancers: Francesca Roche, Jenifer Robinson &

Amanda Bates

Ensemble: Luke Russell (Flute), Andre Kmecova

(Piano), Tadasuke Iijima (Violin I) John Haworth
(Violin II), Jordi Morell (Viola), Gregory Duggan

(Cello), Enrique Galassi (Double Bass), Grant

Dowse (Guitar)


Jose Gandia (UK/Spain) is an actor, musician and director who recently graduated with Distinction from RADA/Birkbeck. He has also studied under Antonio Fava (Commedia Dell Arte) and completed a workshop with Complicite. Recent engagements include: Title Role The Idealist (Tara Arts), La Serva Padrona (Director, The Reform Club), an international performance project with Isle of Noise (Director), and Shepherd Dance of the Seven Sins (Nonsuch Dance Company).


Henriette Rietveld (Netherlands) holds an MA in Theatre Direction from the UEA. She interned as Assistant Director to Jatinder Verma at Tara Arts, and for Johan Doesburg at the Nationale Toneel (NL). Credits include: the international physical theatre project home:scape (TNF, Tara Arts and Pro Progressione, Tara Theatre), Miss Julie (Odd Man Out Productions, Theatre Local) and The Idealist (Tara Theatre).


Alexia Mankovskaya (Belarus/UK) is a prize-­‐winning mezzo soprano. She has performed in front of Queen Sofia of Spain, and for the Bavarian Government in Munich (Kaiser Palace, Germany). Past roles include: Cherubino Marriage of Figaro (Stanislavsky Opera House), Countess Ceprano Rigoletto (Grange Park), Rosina Barber of Seville (Grimeborn Festival), and Olga Eugene Onegin (Aghliary festival, Italy).


Maria Shatalova (Russia) recently launched her own exquisite jewellery and clothing line and presented her first summer collection this year. She has kindly provided dresses from this collection for performances of Maria De Buenos Aires. Maria is popular public figure in Russia; she is currently being followed by Fox TV, who are capturing her life in real time with a view to creating a film that will be screened internationally.


Darren Royston (UK) is the Artistic Director of NONSUCH History and Dance. A specialist in period movement, Darren worked in acting and musical theatre before gaining an MA Distinction in Dance from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Darren works worldwide, choreographing for opera, film and television. He is also a movement tutor at RADA and dance consultant to the National Theatre and Old Vic (London).


Joanna McCormick (UK) has exhibited widely – both in the UK and abroad – in public institutions such as The Fashion and Textile Museum, non art spaces, with The National Trust, and with galleries such as the Ikon (Birmingham). She has also worked with organizations such as: The National Trust, The Royal Botanical Gardens (Kew), The Royal Parks (Richmond), and many others.


Victor Sgarbi’s (UK/Brazil) career began in 2000 whilst still a student at the Universidade Tom Jobim (Brazil), after a successful career as a Dentist. He has been described by critics as having “a restrained and truly well-­‐placed baritone voice” and as “an opera singer to look out for”. Follow Victor Sgarbi on Facebook, Twitter and


Julian Rowlands (UK) is a bandoneónist based in the UK. He has appeared on BBC television and radio and at many of the UK’s major concert venues. He is a member of Tango Siempre, appearing with them in Midnight Tango and Tangomotion.


Francesca Roche (UK) graduated with Honours from Bird College of Dance, Music and Theatre Performance. Credits include: Dora Steel Pier, Jane Girlfriends, Forest Witch Hansel and Gretel, equestrian stunt shows with The Gladiator Girls (NEC, Birmingham), Strictly Come Historical Dancing (The Royal Shakespeare Company) and for The Mighty Boosh (Baby Cow Productions).


Jennifer Robinson (UK) graduated with Honours from Bird College of Dance, Music and Theatre Performance. As a contemporary dancer, she has performed with companies such as Raymond Tait Dance Company and Tomos Young Dance Company (London). A skilled arielist in silks, corde lisse, static trapeze and aerial hoop, Jennifer is also a member of the Aircraft Circus Company.


After graduating from the Midlands Academy of Dance and Drama, Amanda Bates (UK) has worked internationally for the last 12 years, with a wide range of companies. Her credits include: opera tours in America, dinner shows in Europe and the Middle East, casinos in Asia and Europe, national stadiums, musical theatre shows, and worldwide cruise liners.