FAUST, ALBERTA

Music theatre by Simone Spagnolo, libretto by Giordano Trischitta 
Presented by Time Zone Theatre

The operatic spectacle Faust, Alberta explores the tragic story of Doctor Faustus and his fatal deal with Mephistopheles from a contemporary angle. A Nameless Man finds himself in a remote cabin surrounded by frozen snowfields. He doesn't know who he is nor where he is from, only that something is after him - an unstoppable machine that hunts those who fell from grace. In nine scenes, he tries to collect his memory. Triggered by snippets from his past, he slowly starts to put the pieces together.

The operatic monmologue will be performed by Benjamin Bevan, whose engagements include Henry Cuffe in Britten’s Gloriana and Der Sprecher in Zauberflöte (Royal Opera House), Lescaut in Boulevard Solitude by Henze (Royal Danish Opera and Welsh National Opera), and work with BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others.

Stage director: Pamela Schermann
Musical director: Simone Spagnolo
Set and costume design: Cindy Lin
​Lighting design: Petr Vocka
​Assistant set and costume design: Joanna Townley

Cast: Benjamin Bevan, baritone 

Musicians: Alda Dizdari (violin), James Greenfield (cello), Ross Thomas (clarinet), Ric Elsworth (percussion)
The radical reworking of the classic portrays Faust as a man who has lost his identity and the sense of his journey along the way, and is desperately trying to solve the jigsaw of his existence. It is a philosophical piece about how to find one's true self, brought to live by Simone Spagnolo's haunting score. 

Find out more about Giordano Trischitta's approach to adapt Doctor Faustus for a modern audience HERE.
   
Commissioned by Opera in the City Festival, the world premiere will take place on 3rd September 2018.​​​

★★★★★ "A notable success...deserves further outings" (Plays to see, Tim Hochstrasser)

★★★★ "grippingly portrays a man haunted by his past and by himself" (The Stage, Yehuda Shapiro)

"A mesmerising performance from Benjamin Bevan illuminates this striking new philosophical monodrama which re-interprets the Faust-legend." (Planet Hugill, Robert Hugill)
3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th September at 7.30pm

Running time: approx 65 minutes (no interval)
Bridewell Theatre
14 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ

Nearest tube station: Blackfrias, St Pauls
      Tickets: £15 - £22 (plus booking fee)
              Click here to book  
Faust, Alberta is kindly supported by the
Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Londra.
Production gallery (click to enlarge)

Photos (c) Lidia Crisafulli
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Benjamin Bevan, baritone
Benjamin Bevan is the youngest of fourteen brothers and sisters who formed a family choir with which he sang in his youth. He made his Royal Opera House debut as Henry Cuffe in Britten’s Gloriana, returning there to sing Der Sprecher Zauberflöte. At The Royal Danish Opera, Benjamin has sung Lescaut Boulevard Solitude by Henze, a role he also sang at Welsh National Opera. For Scottish Opera he sang Morales Carmen, Riccardo I Puritani, Marcello La Bohème, and Lescaut Manon. He has also worked with Garsington Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera Holland Park, Longborough Festival Opera, Lausanne Opera, Opéra de Dijon, and at Aix-en-Provence. On the concert platform, Benjamin has worked with The English Concert, Bach Collegium Japan, The Hanover Band, the BBC Philharmonic, and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, among many others.

Recent and future engagements include Achilla Giulio Cesare for English Touring Opera, Der Haushofmeister Capriccio for Garsington Opera, Ferryman Curlew River for Ante Terminum Productions, Handel’s Messiah with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Bach Collegium Japan, and a performance of Bach’s Cantata BWV 206 at St John’s Smith Square in London to mark the 70th anniversary of the London Bach Society.



Simone Spagnolo (composer and musical director)
Having composed music for concerts, theatre, opera, ballet, film and multimedia, Simone has received commissioned from institutions and companies such as Trinity Laban Conservatoire, ChinaWest Productions, Opera Viscera, Gray Lady Productions, WOH Productions, and many more Simone has received numerous awards, including the Asia America Symphony Orchestra Composition Prize and Philip Bates Prize, and in 2011 he has been appointed as artist-in-residence at Bergen's USF Verftet, Norway.​ Simone's music has been performed in internationally known venues and festivals such as London's Royal Festival Hall, St.Martin-in-the-Fields, Blackheath Halls, ENO's foyer, Riverside Studios, Tete-a-Tete Festival, Italian Cultural Institute London, Birmingham Conservatoire, Stanford University, Los Angeles’ Aratani Theatre, Brno’s Janacek Academy, Budapest’s Liszt Academy, Zaragoza’s Conservaorio Superiore, Chongqing University, Hong Kong’s Yuen Long Theatre, Italy’s CEF Festival and Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Film Festival, among others.

Having gained a Ph.D. in composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Simone currently hold the position of Senior Lecturer in Music Theatre at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Previously he lectured at University of Cumbria, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Trinity Laban Conservatoire, University of York and The Purcell School.

   

Pamela Schermann (stage director)
Pamela trained as a director at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, London, and obtained an MA in Theatre at University of Vienna/Austria. She is the artistic director of London-based theatre company Time Zone Theatre Ltd. 

Directing credits include: Paisley-Day's play Raving (Cresent Main House, Birmingham / Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan (Theatrical Niche, UK/ Ireland tour 2017), Zemlinsky’s opera A Florentine Tragedy (Bridewell Theatre, 2017), Mascagni’s opera Zanetto (Bridewell Theatre 2017), Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Mozart & Salieri (Arcola Theatre, UK/Denmark tour 2017, Finalist for an Off West End-Award ‘Best Opera Production’), Shakespeare’s Othello (Rose Playhouse, England tour and New York City, 2015 - 2016), Lane’s play Threads (Hope Theatre), the Shakespeare-Medley Rendezvous at Midnight (Rose Playhouse, 2015), Goethe’s Iphigenia in Tauris (Rose Playhouse, Bankside 2015), Kraus/Kerridge’s double-bill Shoot, I didn’t mean that / The Last Days of Mankind (Tristan Bates Theatre), Gluck’s opera Orpheus and Eurydice (Rose Playhouse, Bankside), Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (Rose Playhouse, Bankside), Knightley’s play Abe & Hans (Theatre503), Wilde’s Salome (ZOO Southside, Edinburgh & Etcetera Theatre), The Last Day (Waterloo East Theatre), Dorian Gray (Cockpit Theatre), La Traviata (Kirchstetten/Austria, 2009).
   
Short plays and New Writing Events include work at Theatre503, the Arcola, Southwark Playhouse and Arts Theatre West End. Her work has been supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum London, the Austrian Cultural Ministry and Arts Council England.



Cindy Lin (set and costume designer)
Cindy Lin is a set and costume designer originally from Southern California, but is now based in London. Cindy trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (MA Theatre Design). Theatre credits include: Breathe (Bunker Theatre), Nell Gwynn and 1984 (London College of Music), Lord of the Underworld's Home for Unwed Mothers (Skylight Theatre Company), Might Never Happen (Doll's Eye Theatre), and Electra (RWCMD Richard Burton Company). She has assisted and worked with a wide range of designers, including Boris Kudlicka (Otello), Jon Bausor (Bat Out of Hell - US Tour), Naomi Dawson (Kneehigh's The Tin Drum), Tom Scutt (Elegy, The Deep Blue Sea, Jesus Christ Superstar - Olivier Award winner for Best Musical Revival 2017), and Vicki Mortimer (The Plough and the Stars).

In addition, Cindy was a Linbury Prize finalist with the Royal Court Theatre (2015), short-listed for the British Council Ukraine Prize with Les Kurbas Theatre (2015), and a Royal Opera House bursary recipient (2017).



Giordano Trischitta (librettist)
Giordano's theatrical works have been professionally performed in Italy (direction and text adaptation of Preferei di no, Teatro Lo Spazio 2011 and Il monologo del re, Teatro di Tor Vergata, 2010) and London (Night Dreamer, Theatre Delicatessen, London, 2013 and The Leak, NW5, London, 2013). He has been awarded twice the UniArts Award (2007 in poetry, 2008 in theatre), shortlisted for the Old Vic 12, and his recent feature script Room 406 was semifinalist at the Short Script Festival 2015 and is currently in development with director Riccardo Sai attached. Recent opera works include The Colour Blue, presented by Anglia Ruskin University, which premiered in October 2017 at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.


Petr Vocka (lighting designer)
Most recently, Petr worked as associate lighting designer fir the musical WAHNSINN in Duisburg/Germany with LD Michael Grundner. Lighting designs include Mozart & Salieri, Zanetto and A Florentine Tragedy (Opera in the City Festival  at Bridewell Theatre 2017), Coppelia (Jackson Lane and Edinburgh Festival, 2017), The Marriage of Figaro (Clonter Opera, 2017), Aroldo (UCOpera at Royal Stratford East), Light Installation for ORA choir in concert (The Cutty Sark), Orlando and the Three Graces (Peckham Theatre), Gianni Schicchi (Opera Les Azuriales, Nice), La Traviata (Clonter Opera), Titus Andronicus (Rose Playhouse), The Winter’s Tale (Guildford Shakespeare Company), L’enfant et les sortiléges (Samling Opera at The Sage, Newcastle). 

Prior to studying Lighting Design at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he was a professional dancer in Vienna, and danced on many stages including Bregenz Festspiel’s famous Lakeside stage and Landestheater Linz.


Joanna Townley (set and costume design assistant)
Joanna Townley trained as a Fine Artist at Central Saint Martins, working in the fields of spatial design and sculpture. New to the world of theatre, she is using her creative skills to assist with the production of sets, props and costume.