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Reinvented 'Macbeth' Makes U.S. Premiere At Fairfield's Quick Center

The Quick Center for the Arts will present a radically reimagined version of Verdi's "Macbeth," with Nobulumko Mngxekeza as Lady Macbeth.
The Quick Center for the Arts will present a radically reimagined version of Verdi's "Macbeth," with Nobulumko Mngxekeza as Lady Macbeth. Photo Credit: Contributed photo by Nicky Newman

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — The Quick Center for the Arts at Fairfield University is collaborating with the renowned Philadelphia Fringe Festival to bring the acclaimed U.S. premiere of Brett Bailey’s radical, live opera "Macbeth, to American audiences.

Executive Director of the Quick Center Peter Van Heerden said Verdi's "Macbeth" has been reimagined in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The production will be taking the stage Sept. 16 and 17.

This unique adaptation of Verdi’s opera, which reimagines Macbeth a dictator in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was devised under the artistic direction of Bailey with his performance company, Third World Bunfight, who hail from South Africa.

The decision to bring Macbeth to the Quick Center stage comes on the heels of rave reviews for the production.

After a four continent tour in 2014, Bailey’s adaptation of Verdi’s opera was given four stars and dubbed “astonishing” by Britain’s The Telegraph.

In this production, Shakespeare’s story of ambition, treachery and witchcraft is set in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, among wars and ruthless exploitation. Within a milieu of multinational double-dealings, ethnic conflict, brutal militia, “blood minerals” and glittering Chinese imports, a Congolese warlord and his ambitious wife murder their leader and unleash atrocities on the crumbling African province that they seize.

The opera will be performed live by an ensemble of 10 South African opera singers, and the local and renowned Greater Bridgeport Symphony led by Serbian conductor, Premil Petrovic.

The concept, design and direction are all led by Bailey, a South African playwright, designer, director, and installation maker whose works have played across the globe in Europe, Australia, Africa and Latin America, and have won several awards, including a gold medal for design at the Prague Quadrennial (2007).

His iconoclastic works, which interrogate the dynamics of the post-colonial world, also include the musical dramas "Big Dada," "Ipi Zombi?," "iMumbo Jumbo" and "Orfeus," and the performance installation, Exhibit B.

Tickets are priced at $65, $55 for the public, $42 for QCA Members, and $5 for Fairfield University Students. To order tickets, visit quickcenter.com or call the Box Office at 203-254-4010 or toll-free 1-877-254-4010.

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