THE NEW FANTASY OPERA BY TONES ON THE STONES

THE WITCHES SEED

From the Genius of Stewart Copeland, coming in summer 2022 the most spectacular Fantasy Opera with immersive video scenography.

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A Tale of witches, persecutions and illusions.

The Witches Seed is a contemporary opera with fantasy scenography using the most innovative digital technologies for a fully immersive show.

Designing the work is Edvige Faini, an extraordinary Italian artist creating a wild world on the cliff faces of this unique venue.

The Witches Seed is inspired by history as documented in trial documents from the bloodiest years of the Inquisition and also by the fascinating legends of the mountain cultures of central Europe.

A FANTASY OPERA INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY

The Witches Seed is a story inspired by vivid legends of the mountain cultures of central Europe and informed by historical trial documents from the bloodiest years of the Inquisition.

In a time of social, spiritual, political and economic crisis due to the spread of the plague and of new heresies, three women are falsely accused of witchcraft, suffering persecutions and tribulations leading to an unexpected reckoning even as the flames rise around them.

Through Inquisitor Buelli’s eyes we see his vision of the rampant evil that these women embody as they whip the villagers into orgiastic frenzy. Bishop Bascapé sees none of this. To him they are just three ordinary, if conspicuously influential women in the village. Their strength, wisdom and relative wealth make them a threat to the established order of medieval power.

It is a story continuously on the edge, that plays Rashomon-like between reality and distorted visions; between characters of history and others of fevered hallucinations.

The protagonists Isabetta, Nele, and Manzinetta have powerful tools at their disposal but will they be enough to save their lives? We know that over the centuries millions of women in Europe suffered atrocious torture and ended up at the stake or the gallows, how will the story end?

Fedora Opera Prize 2021

Fedora is the European Platform supporting creativity and innovation in performing arts through an annual prize. The Witches Seed (TWS) is  the only Italian Opera candidate to the final prize. 

CREATED BY A STELLAR CAST

The project was born from an idea of Maddalena Calderoni and as a result of the collaboration and creativity of six great artists.

The music of The Witches Seed has been composed by Stewart Copeland. The Police co-founder, more than 60 million records sold throughout his career, Stewart composed movie soundtracks for movies such as Wall Street by Oliver Stone and Rumble Fish by Francis Ford Coppola.

The libretto is the work of the award-winning British playwright Jonathan Moore , author of many works for theater, film and the BBC including the famous “Treatment” with Gabriel Byrne.

The singer-songwriter Chrissie Hynde , leader of the famous group The Pretenders is the author of some songs featured in the opera.

The video sets are created by Edvige Faini, concept artist internationally renowned, working with the most prestigious production studios in Hollywood and with the most famous game house worldwide.

The Irish conductor Eimear Noone was the first female story to get on the podium of the orchestra during the 92nd Academy Awards. Eimear is also the composer of some video game soundtracks such as World of Warcraft, among the best-selling in the world.

Complete this very high profile team Gianni Marras , the Italian reference for direction of great musicals. His productions include Evita, Titanic and “Les Miserables”, which won 7 Awards – including Best Musical and Best Musical Director – in the international competition “broadway.com”.

GIANNI MARRAS

Director

EDVIGE FAINI

Video Scenography

GILLIAN BRUCE

Coreographer

MASSIMO CARLOTTO

Costumes

SHAWNA FARREL

Artistic Director BMST Production

THE WORLD PREMIERE

An Original Production by Tones on the Stones, The Witches Seed will debut on
July, 2022.

Tones on the Stones: a unique and unparalleled format, which offers great shows in stone theaters and sets with immersive video scenographies.

CHARACTERS

Isabetta

Her charisma dazzles the people but irks the Inquisitor. She leads the three protagonists in their battle against false accusation. Her language is different from all the others, where does it come from?

Nele

She inherited the village butcher shop from her husband, who has disappeared. Who is the little orphan that she has adopted? Who are the friends and followers in her trail?

Manzinetta

She is young, beautiful, smart and owns the bordello. She knows more about men than men do. It is her secret power but also makes her a threat to the established order.

Teresa

She is Nele’s adopted daughter and is the deepest mystery. Serenely pure in Nele’s bloody butcher shop, she seems the most vulnerable of all. But no one knows her real strength.

Inquisitor Buelli

Character inspired by the real inquirer of the Dominican order for the Heretica Pravitas of the Novarese. In the story he mantains his name, his psychological traits and sadism. Its mission is to eradicate witchcraft, by any means and at any cost.

Bishop Bascapè

Another historical figure, representing an enlightened church close to the people. In contrast to Buelli’s dark vision, he will stand up for the weak against the powerful cruel methods of the Inquisitor

Sergeant Giovanni

In the service of the Inquisitor, he is on the hunt for witches. But these three women are his friends.

Guard Polidori

Sergeant Giovanni’s menacing henchman.

Pastor Claudio

They are three (mostly) innocent bystanders in the war between the forces of good and evil.

Pastor Vittorio

They are three (mostly) innocent bystanders in the war between the forces of good and evil.

Pastor Ludo

They are three (mostly) innocent bystanders in the war between the forces of good and evil.

COSTUME CONTEST

The Witches Seed costumes will be created as part of IntreccInCantiere, a global call for young designers in collaboration with Manifattura Domodossola.

The call was attended by 50 designers from all over the world.

Winners Dong Yuanayi, Shota Nishizaki, Misaki Abe and Yu Hamana will collaborate with the production costume designer Massimo Carlotto.

THE WITCHES SEED

Tickets for sale from November 2021

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