When I recently tweeted the following statement, fans of Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, Adam Lambert – the Glamberts as they call themselves – knew instantly what I meant: This is #Adamsfault for sure!
Tempus: is a new original piece of theatre inspired by the Zodiac Shows, and by the astonishing and fearless performances from Adam Lambert at those shows before he became the international superstar that he is today.
Earlier this year I was approached by the prestigious Actors Centre in London to present a three-month voice workshop there.
My suggestion that the workshops also be used to develop a show for the actors to employ the techniques they were studying, was accepted, something which had not happened at The Actors Centre in recent years and which they are keen to kick-start again, so with Tempus, we are the first to do so.
Meanwhile, since I had always wanted to create a show in which genres were fused, I had been thinking for a while about developing a kind of Zodiac Show in London.
The performances at the Tristan Bates Theatre, however, will still represent part of the course, and as the theatre is too small to get rock bands and dancers in, the show will be developed in two phases.
For these first performances of Tempus, therefore, we will be concentrating on the ‘story’ part of the show, which also contains fantastic original songs sung by phenomenal singers.
Being from the opera world, the story of Norma has always intrigued me and therefore Tempus, is loosely based on the Norma story, but set in the future at a time when the Earth is in trouble – the ice-caps have melted and the seas are rising to the point where much of the land has drowned, and cities like Venice are disappearing, whilst elsewhere people are dying because they have no fresh drinking water.
Deep conflict rages between the Druids and Scientists. Even though they want the same outcome – each believes theirs is the right way and the other is wrong.
But the Scientists are like none you’ve ever met: feisty, fierce and very, very funny!
And instead of the love triangle being between two women and a man, in Tempus, it is between two men and a woman. The two men are the ‘leaders’ of the two factions and even though the Scientists have no qualms about creating their offspring in a test tube, the Druids are dead against this alliance as very few men are available for procreation.
The action takes place around important Druid Festivals of the four seasons:
Autumn – Moon Festival
Winter – Sun Festival
Spring – Water & Oak Festival
Summer – Fire Harvest Festival
The development of Tempus is being filmed and will be appearing on its own YouTube channel first of all, within the next few weeks. You can follow the show’s development and post comments here: http://www.workingtitlestheatre.wordpress.com
All text and lyrics are being written by the amazing Dr Philippa Semper and all the music, apart from perhaps one aria, is being composed by the talented Elizabeth Dockrell-Tyler for the wonderful voices of the cast. But just because Norma is an opera, don’t think that the music in Tempus is operatic – there is a fusion of genres which has been crafted especially for the voices of the cast.
THE SCIENTISTS THE DRUIDS
Steven MacGillvray Nikola Trifunovic
Moshana Khan Madelyn Swallow
Cecilia Gragnani Mira Noltenius
Asha Kingsley Dawn Stanley
One of the reasons the development of Tempus is being filmed, is so that audiences will get to know the actors, fall in love with them, and want to see them in the bigger productions we are moving on to.
You can also follow those of us with twitter accounts:
The show – @workingtitles1
Me – @angelinakalhari
Philippa – @sothspell
Sukanya – @BSukanya (our very own film producer)
Mira – @MiraNoltenius
Peter – @PeterOliverAct
Cecilia – @Ceciparis
Moshana – @Moshana123
Radio programmes in which the cast members talk about their experience and their voice will also be broadcast shortly.
Performance dates for a short initial run at the Tristan Bates Theatre is 3 – 5 January 2013.
As I said previously, this is all Adam’s fault. None of it would exist without Adam Lambert’s inspirational performances in the Zodiac Shows and beyond – he can never be repaid for the light he has brought into the world, but these shows may go a little way in thanking him in a way that he will surely understand.
Maria Callas singing the iconic aria from the opera, Norma
A synopsis of the story of Norma:
ACT I. Gaul, 50 BCE, during the Roman occupation. In a forest at night, the priest Oroveso leads the Druids in a prayer for revenge against the conquering Romans. After they have left, the Roman proconsul Pollione admits to his friend Flavio that he no longer loves the high priestess Norma, Oroveso’s daughter, with whom he has two children. He has fallen in love with a young novice priestess, Adalgisa, who returns his love (“Meco all’altar di Venere”). Flavio warns him against Norma’s anger. The Druids assemble and Norma prays to the moon goddess for peace (“Casta diva”). She tells her people that as soon as the moment for their uprising against the conquerors arrives, she herself will lead the revolt. At the same time, she realizes that she could never harm Pollione. When the grove is deserted, Adalgisa appears and asks for strength to resist Pollione. He finds her crying and urges her to flee with him to Rome. She agrees to renounce her vows (Duet: “Vieni in Roma, ah! vieni, o cara”).
Norma tells her confidante Clotilde that Pollione has been recalled to Rome. She is afraid that he will desert her and their children. Adalgisa confesses to Norma that she has a lover (Duet: “Sola, furtiva, al tempio”). Recalling the beginning of her own love affair, Norma is about to release Adalgisa from her vows and asks for the name of her lover. As Pollione appears, Adalgisaanswers truthfully. Norma’s kindness turns to fury. She tells Adalgisa about her own betrayal by the Roman soldier. Pollione confesses his love for Adalgisa and asks her again to come away with him, but she refuses and vows she would rather die than steal him from Norma (Trio: “Oh! Di qual sei tu vittima”).
ACT II. Norma, dagger in hand, tries to bring herself to murder her children in their sleep to protect them from living disgracefully without a father (“Teneri, teneri figli”). She changes her mind and summons Adalgisa, advising her to marry Pollione and take the children to Rome. Adalgisa refuses: she will go to Pollione, but only to persuade him to return to Norma. Overcome by emotion, Norma embraces her, and the women reaffirm their friendship (Duet: “Mira, o Norma”).
The Druids assemble at their altar to hear Oroveso’s announcement that a new commander will replace Pollione. Oroveso rages against the Roman oppression, but tells the Druids that they must be patient to ensure the success of the eventual revolt (“Ah! del Tebro al giogo indegno”).
Norma is stunned to hear from Clotilde that Adalgisa’s pleas have not persuaded Pollione, and in a rage she urges her people to attack the conquerors. Oroveso demands a sacrificial victim, and just then Pollione is brought in, having profaned the sanctuary. Alone with him, Norma promises him his freedom if he will leave Adalgisa and return to her (Duet: “In mia man alfin tu sei”). When he refuses, Norma threatens to kill him and their children, and to punish Adalgisa. She calls in the Druids and tells them that a guilty priestess must die, then confesses that she is referring to herself. Moved by her nobility, Pollione asks to share her fate. Norma begs Oroveso to watch over her children, then leads her lover to the pyre.