In this radical take on Verdi’s Macbeth, Shakespeare’s story of greed, tyranny and remorse is set in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), amongst the wars and ruthless exploitation that tear that invisible corner of the world apart.

The on-going conflict is fueled by multinational corporations and corrupt regional governments and generals, greedy for the natural resources that swell their pockets. As in so many parts of the "developing world", there is scant regard for the bloodshed and despair at the bottom of the supply chain.

Over the past 20 years there have been more deaths in the eastern DRC than in any conflict since World War II, and yet the crisis barely registers in the global media. The cost of a large proportion of the cell phones, gaming consoles, laptops and jewelry that we crave and consume is the carnage and misery that occur in the shadows cast by the bright lights of the First World.

Within a milieu of multinational double-dealings, ethnic conflict, ruthless militia, "blood minerals" and glittering Chinese imports, a Congolese warlord, General Macbeth, and his ambitious wife murder the king and unleash atrocities on the crumbling province that they seize.

Verdi’s score has been rewritten and adapted for 12 onstage musicians by Belgian composer, Fabrizio Cassol. The work is performed by a tight ensemble of 10 South African opera singers, and the renowned trans-Balkan "No Borders Orchestra" conducted by Serbian conductor, Premil Petrovic.

Running time : 100 mins


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  • 2016-10-04 00:00:00 2016-10-05 00:00:00 - Théâtre de Cornouaille, Quimper - France


Conceived, designed & directed by Brett Bailey
Music : Fabrizio Cassol, adapted from Verdi’s Macbeth
Conductor : Premil Petrovic
Lighting designer : Felice Ross
Choreographer : Natalie Fisher

Macbeth : Owen Metsileng
Lady Macbeth : Nobulumko Mngxekeza
Banquo : Otto Maidi / Ebenezer Sawuli
Chorus : Sandile Kamle, Jacqueline Manciya, Monde Masimini, Siphesihle Mdena/Lunga Hallam, Bulelani Madondile, Philisa Sibeko/Thozama Dyasi, Thomakazi Holland

No Borders Orchestra : Stanko Madic (1st violin), Jelena Dimitrijevic (2nd violin), Sasa Mirkovic (viola), Vinko Rucner (cello), Ilin-Dime Dimovski (double bass), Jasna Nadles (flute), Nenad Nesic (clarinet), Milos Dopsaj (bassoon), Nenad Markovic (trumpet), Viktor Ilieski (trombone)
Percussionists : Cherilee Adams, Dylan Tabisher
Previous musicians from No Borders Orchestra include  Mladen Drenic (1st violin), Dejan Bozic (cello), Goran Kostic (double bass), Aleksandar Tasic (clarinet), Ivan Jotic (bassoon)

Managing Director : Barbara Mathers
Technical Manager : Miguel Munoz
Company Manager : Catherine Henegan
Stage Manager : Pule Sethlako
Sound Engineer : Pierre-Olivier Boulant
AV Engineer & technical assistant : Carlo Thompson
Re-lighter : Tal Bitton
Video illustration and animation : Roger Williams
Photographs projected during the opera Marcus Bleasdale/VII & Cedric Gerbehaye
Surtitle text : Brett Bailey
Rehearsal pianist : Jose Diaz/Kurt Haupt
Costumes : Penny Simpson
Props : Cristina Salvoldi; Iron Pear
Publicity photographs : Morne van Zyl & Brett Bailey
Vocal coach : Albert Combrink 

EU Cultural Fund co-producers KFDA/KVS, Wiener Festwochen, Theaterformen Festival, The Barbican and La Ferme du Buisson / Festival d’Automne à Paris

EU cultural fund administrator Roger Christmann