Saturday 10th August & Sunday 11th August, 2013
Shadow Opera Group
This project is the third opera the Shadow Opera Group have produced, and is a work-‐in-‐progress. Tonight’s performance forms the first act of what will eventually be a two act opera, due to be performed in its entirety in Spring 2014. Taking Voltaire’s short story, MICROMEGAS is a sci-‐fi romp across the universe, with values of truth, knowledge and perspective at its heart.
SCENE ONE – A giant by any human standard, Micromegas is being tried in court on charges of blasphemy. He has written a natural history book, but in it he has compared the nature of fleas to snails. In this society, the snail is hailed as being sacred, and the judge is eager to punish Micromegas. Micromegas vows to travel the universe in search of knowledge and truth.
SCENE TWO – Meanwhile, on earth, some humans are sailing home from an exploration of their own. They’ve been to study the Arctic, but the trip was unsuccessful. Despite this, The Captain singsheartily of their bravery. As The Captain and The Poet argue, The Cartographer looks for company in the form of Pere Jules – a drunken old sea-‐dog. Waking from his stupor, Pere Jules tells The Cartographer of his bizarre life.
SCENE THREE – The monks of Saturn gloomily scribe away in their academy, writing of the inner-‐worlds, whilst their apprentice tries to lift their spirits. Micromegas arrives, and is charmed by this pygmy planet. He takes a liking to the apprentice and names him ‘Dwarf’. Micromegas convinces Dwarf to leave Saturn, and his beloved Barbra, in order to travel the universe with him.
Music: Tom Floyd
Words: David Spittle
Director: Anna Koukoullis
Lighting Designer: Jamie Platt
Court Spectator/Cabin Boy/Monk 2: Alex Bevan
Micromegas/Pere Jules: Jan Capinski
Court Spectator/Cabin Boy/ Dwarf: Richard Downing
The Muffty/The Captain/Monk 3: Robert Garland
Drunk Girl 2/The Poet/ Monk 1: Sophie Goldrick
Drunk Girl 1/The Cartographer/Barbra: Emily Griffiths
This is Tom Floyd‘s third chamber opera, and the second to be produced at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival. Since the premiere of his adaptations of The Nightingale and The Rose (2010), he has been working with librettist David Spittle and the Shadow Opera Group. Tom is currently studying for a Masters degree at the Royal Academy of Music.
Anna Koukoullis graduated from the RWCMD in 2012. As a student, she directed the Fourth Year Opera Scenes Unruly Women and assisted Director Harry Fehr on The Marriage of Figaro. She has since assisted Directors Patrick Eakin Young – on Toujours et Près de Moi – and Martin Constantine – on Britten’s Women and Flight.
Cécile has just graduated from Wimbledon College of Arts. Before coming to London, she studied French Literature, Music and Theatre in Paris. Now a freelance costume and set designer, she would like to stay in the UK to work alongside exciting people – designing for opera, dance and theatre.