Posts Tagged ‘Anya17’

Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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October 22nd 2013
Amy Webber’s thoughts on the Romanian premiere of Anya17

Performing Anya 17 in a country where more women and children are trafficked for sex slavery than any other Eastern European country was extremely poignant.

For me, it brought an even deeper level of emotional engagement and the back story of my character became even more detailed. Seeing all the delegates from the Anti Human Trafficking conference and members of numerous trafficking charities in the audience also made the story become deeper. Everyone in that Philharmonic Hall was fighting against the same thing – human trafficking and slavery. This made the whole experience very powerful and the opera more relevant than ever before.

I always cry at the end of my aria in Anya 17 and also at the end of the opera, and this time, I cried even more. When the audience gave a standing ovation and the whole cast, crew and orchestra were taking bows on stage, the applause was saying more than just “what a great performance” but also “let us all continue the fight”. What more thrill could you want as a performer than being involved in something that is an art AND a campaign for change?

Of course, teaming up with a Romanian conductor, orchestra and half a Romanian cast also made the experience more interesting. Their rehearsal techniques and structure is different. And their way of approaching and learning contemporary music is also very different. They were all extremely friendly and really welcomed us to their country and culture.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience for all involved and we really hope we can continue to perform it all over the UK and the world.

Amy Webber plays the part of Elena

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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October 14th 2013
Three Days to Anya17 in Romania…

Timisoara

Timisoara

With just three days to go now before the Romanian premiere of Anya17 in Timisoara on the eve of Anti-Slavery Day, I am delighted to hear that rehearsals are going very well and that the Director (Caroline Clegg), the Cast and Musicians are all in good spirits.

Whilst I would very much like to be with the Composer Adam Gorb and with you all in Romania, there is much here left to be done, evidenced by this new Guardian report on Human Trafficking going on under our very noses in the UK today.

Good luck (Toi Toi Toi) to all the Anya17 Team in Romania!

 

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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October 4th 2013
Details of Anya17 in Romania – October 17th 2013

Details of the imminent International Symposium on Human Trafficking in (Romania October 14th to 18th) and the Romanian premiere of Anya17

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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May 19th 2013
Essential Viewing…

New Documentary exploring grooming and Sex Trafficking…

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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March 11th 2013
Fully Staged World Premiere for Anya17!

Kammerspiele des Meininger Theater

I am delighted to announce that Anya17’s fully-staged World Premiere has been confirmed for this November in Germany!

Anya17 will be performed amidst the stunning landscape of Thuringia at Kammerspiele des Meininger Theater in Meiningen with a Cast from Theater Meiningen. The run will start on November 28th 2013 and finish on February 8th 2014.

The Meiningen Court Orchestra is one of the oldest and most tradition rich orchestras in Europe. Founded in 1690 by Duke Bernhard I, this elite 70-strong Orchestra has attracted Composers such as Johannes Brahms and Musical Direction from such luminaries as Hans von Bülow, Max Reger and Richard Strauss. The visionary Philippe Bach has been the Music Director since 2010.

The confirmed dates so far are:
Nov 28th 2013, Dec 8th 2013, Dec 14th 2013, Jan 10th 2014, Feb 8th 2014.

I need not say how excited we all are to hear the news of this run, and we hope to bring you news of performances in other countries soon!

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Author: Alan Bryant - Digital Marketer
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March 11th 2012
Anya17 T-Shirt Competition Winner Announced

So the first two performances of Anya17 took place last week and were a great success, big thanks to everyone who made it along to the performances and everybody’s support. Last week we ran a competition where we offered you the chance to win one of the fantastic Anya17 T-Shirts designed by Stu Jones.

Well that competition ended last night and it is now time to announce our winner. Thank you to everyone who entered.

Q: Who plays the lead role of Anya in the opera Anya17?

A : Andrea Tweedale

We had many entries, all of which were put into a hat and the persons name who was drawn out first was the winner. So congratulations to Alex Wishiki you have won! Please get in touch with us at ‘info@anya17.co.uk‘ to claim your prize.

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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March 8th 2012
Anya17 Premieres!

Well, goodness me and where to begin? Stunning premiere performances all round at The Philharmonic Hall last night in Liverpool and it currently looks like we’re heading for a sell-out in Manchester tomorrow night.
There hasn’t really been any time at all yet to stop and reflect, but the congratulatory emails have been pouring in ever since ‘curtain down’, and I just hope that the Cast are aware of the immense contributions they have made. The Ensemble 10/10 were infallibly brilliant despite an almost impossibly tight rehearsal schedule, and the wonderful performance coaxed from them by Clark Rundell was a tribute both to his inspirational vision and to the nsemble 10/10’s unshakable, consummate professionalism.
We’ll hopefully get some posts soon from these terrific singers, but until then let me leave you with this; coverage from the brilliant BBC just prior to the Anya17 world premiere last night…

BBC TV Coverage on day of Anya17 Premiere

Ben Kaye, Librettist

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Author: Hayley Chappell - Online Marketer
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March 5th 2012
Win an Anya17 T-Shirt

It’s premiere week at Anya17 and while the cast and musicians have the final few rehearsals you could be in with a chance to win one of the fantastic Anya17 T-Shirts designed by Stu Jones.

To be in with a chance to win a T-Shirt all you need to do is answer this simple question:

Q: Who plays the lead role of Anya in the opera Anya17?

The answer can be found on the website at www.anya17.co.uk. If you know (or find!) the answer, simply comment on this post with your answer. (All comments are approved before they appear on the blog so no comments relating to this post will be approved until after we have revealed the answer and announced a winner.)

Competition closes Saturday 10th March 2012.

Read Stu Jones’ original post revealing the truth behind the T-Shirt design.

Winners will have the choice between a T-Shirt with the full back design or with the front logo only.

We will also be running a Twitter only competition which we will announce details of later this week!

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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February 21st 2012
Lights, Camera… Action! Tony Lloyd MP speaks about the Sex Trafficking awareness Opera Anya17

As Anya17’s Librettist I was naturally very excited at the prospect of attending an Ensemble rehearsal at the RNCM in Manchester, where I would hear much of the music for the very first time.

It’s an odd sensation too; no matter how many times I start out to write the words for a piece, for some strange reason I can never believe that it’s really happening until I walk through the door to find myself seemingly surprised to hear the Cast and Musicians in full flood.

Friday March 7th will be a very special evening therefore, and not even a five hour drive Northwards through hundreds of miles of roadworks on the M5 and M6 could possibly dull my anticipation for the Liverpool premiere.

As I entered the rehearsal room a few days ago in Manchester I thought that I must have been dreaming. The music was magnificent and the Cast’s performances ranged from the chilling to the sublime. It was everything I could have hoped.

Perfect then that the rehearsal was attended not only by representatives from Anti-Slavery International and ACT Leeds (Stop The Traffik), but also by Tony Lloyd MP, who supporting the project from its inception dropped in to talk to the Cast. Tony also chatted to me during an interview describing his feelings on attending the rehearsal and also spoke about the importance of Anya17 in raising awareness of Sex Trafficking.

To share my incredible evening then, check out Tony’s interview filmed by James Shilton. Further photos and video of the rehearsal itself will be posted soon by James. Until then!

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Author: Caroline Clegg - Director
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February 15th 2012
Anya17: Director Caroline Clegg’s invitation to listen to the survivors

I would firstly like to express my gratitude to the extraordinary young women that we met at the recent Charity visit and to the volunteers and all good men and women who continue to give not only their time and resources, but “a part of their hearts” to people who have suffered at the hands of traffickers, slave gang masters and, often times, their own family members.

I have been involved in creating theatre work on the issue of slavery – and that is what trafficking is – for five years now. Firstly in creating Slave – A Question of Freedom; secondly a new piece of drama on grooming, Takeaway Teenager (June 2012) and presently Anya17 and I can say that the reality still continues to shock me intensely. I am saddened daily at the slowness of change which results in more people like the women we met suffering.

Sometimes the sadness translates into feeling impotent, despondent and ineffective as an artist. I wonder if we really contribute to making a difference. We are simply translators. We make choices of how to present someone’s story and throughout the creative process we develop a narrative that we hope will provoke, relate and reveal, in this case the underground world of buying and selling girls as sex slaves.

Once we have a show we hope that the audience will bear witness, become reactive and perhaps demand that more be done to stop this trade in humans. But will they?

For some, the opera or play may stay in mind for as long as it takes to drink a gin and tonic at the bar. For others it will it be like reading the newspaper; a repulsive story for a few moments but once read it will be discarded because it is not an issue that affects them and there is the mortgage to be paid, the kids need new shoes and yes whilst it’s very sad, there is nothing we can do is there…. Is there?

But perhaps it could help people to listen and listen with hearing and understanding ears to their stories until we, governments and security forces can’t pretend to be deaf anymore?

I don’t believe that not listening because it is too upsetting is an option, because only in hearing will those who have been trafficked gain freedom and justice.

Imagine listening to a girl; someone’s daughter, someone’s mother, someone’s sister, telling you that they had met a man, fallen head over heels in love and followed her boyfriend or by now fiancé to a new place to make a life for themselves.

When they arrive at that place she is beaten into submission, half starved, drugged and locked in a room where up to thirty men have sex with her every day. There could be a girl like that living on your street.

There are thousands of girls (and boys) in the UK now in this situation and they need help. During the recent Charity visit I had the privilege to meet three incredible women who had escaped and survived similar terror. The effect of meeting them was not only deeply humbling but emotionally challenging and thank God, because it stoked and renewed my anger and determination to give voice to their testimony and celebrate not only their dignity and courage but their indomitable will to survive and to rebuild their lives. After five years of work in this area you would think that you would be immune, that you had heard every possible horror. But every girl or boy is an individual human being with equal rights as you and I and part of his or her life has been stolen and they deserve to be heard.

Thank you again to the Charity and especially thank you to the remarkable young women for allowing me to sit and bear witness to your stories, to share a cup of tea and cake with you and see you smile especially as you told us of being reunited with your children and families. But mostly, thank you for distressing and disturbing me and for giving me a chance to listen and react.

As I re-read the opera that night, tears streamed down my face as the girl’s stories became embedded in the notes on the page. The screams within the melody were their screams loud and clear and the silent bars of violence, rape, murder and degradation were the silenced voices of those still enslaved.

I am realistic enough to know that an opera will not stop the sex trade and it will not stop men wanting to go to a brothel. But I do know that if you watch Anya17 you will be changed and with change comes action, and with action those at this Charity and others around the world will have a voice.

As I said above, as artists we are simply translators of stories which we then present on stage to give their voice a platform on which to be heard.

Please come and listen and ensure that those who have escaped, the survivors, are not victims but victors. It is our duty to keep this issue on the front pages and in the forefront of the minds of politicians who have the power to make real change.

Thank you for reading.
Caroline Clegg

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