Posts Tagged ‘Caroline Clegg’

Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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May 21st 2015
“Riveting Art”

ANYA17 makes the “Best” List of the Bay Area’s Classical Music Scene for 2014.

 

“Anya 17, a modern treatment of sexual slavery and trafficking, was premiered by Opera Parallele last June. This gifted opera company has moved from edgy productions of twentieth century to their second premiere, and it was a humdinger.

 

A multi-layered score by British composer Adam Gorb and a haunting libretto by Ben Kaye took this most uncomfortable subject and turned it into riveting art. Go to anything this company does. Anything!”

 

 

Repeat Performances

Online reviews of events in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond…

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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July 2nd 2014
Four men and a woman have been jailed for conspiring to traffic women into the UK for sexual exploitation.

The gang trafficked more than 100 women into the UK, some of whom were forced into prostitution and raped…

 

It couldn’t happen here in the UK, could it?

Story here…

 

I’m assuming that WordPress will not work to display this link, so here is the link in full:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-28123869

 

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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June 25th 2014
Audience reaction to Anya17 in San Francisco

 

“It is an extraordinarily powerful and emotional work. A tough and uncompromising story and the fact that it was in the form of an opera seemed as natural as breathing. There has never been anything like this on stage in San Francisco. Bravo a tutti at Opera Parallele.
While we were in the theatre some very young women being held as sex slaves were rescued in a trafficking sting mere blocks away. “
Mike – 23 June

“STRONGLY recommend ANYA 17. Today at 4pm is the last show, if you haven’t seen it go get your tickets. It’s more than just an opera… it’s an amazing, eye-opening msg bringing awareness around human trafficking… I saw it on FRIDAY and I am still thinking of it. THANK YOU Opera Parallele for bringing awareness on such an important subject to our community through music and theater.”
Raeeka – 22 June

“I saw Anya 17 tonight. I want to say amazing, but in truth it was difficult and disturbing. I think that is the point… Congratulations to you and everyone else for such a difficult piece.”
Quincy – 22 June

“Really proud of Opera Parallele…they are doing important things. Experienced a great piece of theatre tonight.”
Leah – 20 June

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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December 7th 2013
Second Review of Anya17 in Germany

“No champagne this evening, no Premierengeschnatter (Premiere Chatter). Only concern. And silence. Then applause, roaring loudly after seventy minutes of silence…”

 

No champagne this evening, no Premierengeschnatter. Only concern. And silence. Then applause, roaring loudly after seventy minutes of silence. No known opera evening in Meiningen Kammerspielen, for many reasons. The subject is not a unusual in musical theater: the prostitute, the prostitute. But it is not those romanticized as the Alban Berg’s Lulu or Violetta in Verdi’s “La Traviata”. Instead, it’s about young flesh, fresh from Eastern Europe, numbered. Thus, no suitor has to bother with pesky name when he ordered the goods woman.

Forced prostitution. To raise this issue on a stage as well, as it creates through the means of music that pretends less images rather in the minds of the audience that has to Adam Gorb not a composer still married. “Anya 17″ has the Briton called his chamber opera, translation superfluous, as superfluous as the concrete location of the plot. Anya’s story could play anywhere between Eastern and Western Europe: A poor girl who loves for the first time. Want to believe the nice thing about this life in the West, which promises you the beloved. And then without it ending up in a dump. For money to buy, day and night.

Tell that everything is from the perspective of women to men has librettist Ben Kaye the marginal roles intended for, ugly roles: love vorgaukelnde decoy Uri that sex with love be confused Free Gabriel (both parts sung by Rodrigo Porras Garulo) and the brutal pimp Viktor . Stephanos Tsirakoglou shows him as a patronizing dealer who supplies the market only what this requires. And for that the hand is staying.

The market wants girls like Anya, whose dismay flashes her fate from each shooed views from every gesture, from each desperate tone of Anne Ellersiek. He also wants girls like Natalia (Carolina Krogius), happy girls, raped by father, clarified by strangers at age ten, twelve working the streets. He wants girls like the blind Elena (Camila Ribero-Souza), bruised resigned to their existence. But he does not want a girl like Mila (Elif Aytekin) whose body apparently suffers from this market than for a Free favor could find him. The reason has to die is disposed of.

Director Mareike Zimmermann leaves the four women occur in nude Suites, like bathing suits with sewn breasts and buttocks. The alienated, makes the scenes appear grotesque. The sex is just as ugly as those men who thus make a deal in this oppressive intensive production. The viewer comes when looking at the stage like a voyeur before looking to a container with mirror foil, the times reflected, sometimes gives a view of the scene free.

What happens twice in the music Gorb that makes kicks and punches audible. According opulent with two musicians on percussion is the fifteen-member Court Orchestra under the direction of the first Kapellmeister Leo McFall occupied. It leads – enriched with quotes – sound in two opposite spheres. After kicking off with folklore bonds it changes with the flight to the West. Commented it the glittering world of the goods ironically with Broadway and jazz. In the score, there are so cliché, as well as on stage plenty of cliche-affected can be seen, the touched yet or perhaps because. At the end of a little hope for Anya.

More still affected after all the pain, blood, fear. No known opera evening.

Further performances on 8./14. December 10 January 8 February every 20 clock

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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November 16th 2013
The Calm before the Storm

In about a week, I will be heading down to Meiningen Germany to Das Meininger Theater to attend the fully-staged world premiere of Anya17 (and many subsequent performances over the coming months).

When you are in the midst of a long-term project, it can be all too easy to look forward with trepidation and be forced to accept the sudden realisation that you have “so far to go…”

Today (for a change) I decided to take the opposite view and “stopped on the mountainside” to look back and see just how far we had actually come.

From the genus of an idea, the amazing Anya17 team has:

1. Premiered concert performances with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Ensemble 10/10 and The Royal Northern College of Music.

2. Gained extensive coverage to raise awareness of Human Trafficking on the brilliant BBC and with many many others (as far afield as South Korea and Australia).

3. Premiered Anya17 in Romania and received an invitation to take the opera all over Romania by The Ministry of Internal Affairs (in conjunction with The UK-Romania Friendship Foundation and their wonderfully-successful International Human Trafficking Symposium).

4. Secured a USA premiere with Opera Parallele in San Francisco in 2014, and used the opportunity to engage a swathe of Human Rights groups and Media in America.

5. Won the “Best Film or Stage Production Dealing with Human Trafficking” Award at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards last year at The House of Commons, promoted by The Human Trafficking Foundation.

6. Gained the official endorsement of thirteen Anti-Trafficking NGOs, many of whom we hope will attend the German premiere.

7. A performance in Feb next year in Wales is currently awaiting confirmation, whilst other potential performances in the UK with the original Cast are at such an early stage that… let’s just wait and see…

Yes, we do have a long way to go.

Sometimes though it’s good to look back and gain confidence and inspiration for the future, from the successes of the past.

I haven’t met any of the Singers or Musicians who will be performing Anya17 in Germany. I haven’t even yet met the Director, the Conductor, the Costume Designer or any of the others.

I did though receive an email from one of the Singers, who is playing the part of “Elena” in Germany. I won’t relate the email because all these thoughts will be appearing on the blog soon.

All I can say is that “the passion lives on…”

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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October 26th 2013
“Mein Name ist Anya” – Anya17 highlights Human Trafficking in Deutsche Zeitung and is invited to “go national” across Romania

We couldn’t be more delighted that the Romanian premiere of Anya17 prompted a fact-based report on Human Trafficking in Deutsche Zeitung (Romanian Edition).

Following the performance, the President of Pro Prieyenia Arad (a partner in the performance) received a call from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Bucharest, inviting Pro Prieyenia Arad and The Friendship Foundation (UK – Romania) to go national with both the Anti-Trafficking Symposium and Anya17! We couldn’t possibly have hoped for a better result!

On that note, it was also wonderful to hear about individual audience experiences of Anya17. The following is typical:

“The standing ovation, which followed what seems like minutes of ‘gob-smacked’ silence, indicated the general audience response. A senior police office from South Africa declared to me the following day that the opera had changed the direction of his vocation.”

Let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope that in addition to Romania, Germany (Nov 28th), San Francisco (next year) that Anya17 continues to raise awareness of the horrors of Human Trafficking.

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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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Author: Caroline Clegg - Director
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December 19th 2011
Anya17 Director & Cast: First Read-Through

Anya17’s award-winning Director Caroline Clegg explains her ethos of using the Arts to raise awareness of modern day slavery and the victims of sex trafficking, and why she has chosen to be involved with the opera…

On Monday December 12th I had my first read-through with the cast of Anya17.  Although Anya17 is an opera, it is useful to speak the libretto as text at this stage prior to the singers learning the notes. I feel privileged to be working on this important project and would like to invite every person who reads this blog not only to come to see the performance, but also to join Anti-Slavery International, for only with action will we end slavery.

For the past five years, and intensively for the last two and a half, I have been immersed in the issue of slavery with particular reference to Mende Nazer.  I read her book, Slave six years ago and adapted it into the award winning play Slave – A Question of Freedom with my company Feelgood which has just finished its second tour.  It is the true story of her abduction, rape and slavery in Sudan and the UK.  She was one of the lucky ones and escaped in 2000.  Now she uses her voice to help those who remain voiceless namely the 27 million nameless in slavery today who cannot speak out.

Working on the play has taught me a myriad of things, the most important being that we as artists and story tellers have a paramount responsibility to be strong advocates for the victims and to represent their stories authentically.  Enslavement is the cruelest and most inhuman act one human being can perpetrate on another and the very fact that in the 21st century it is as prevalent today as it was 200 years ago is abhorrent.  In Anya17 we will tell the story honestly, without compromise or neglect for the truth and we invite you all to come and watch, particularly if you are a man.  Let’s not shirk this issue.  Slavery today is predominantly perpetrated by males, particularly in sexual slavery.  And yes, let’s use the word slavery.  Trafficking is just a means of transportation.  People are being bought and sold into slavery.  What else do you call it if someone is forced to work 7 days a weeks, 18 hours a day without pay and they are locked in a house without any means to escape or communicate with the outside world?  People are sold to become domestic slaves in someone’s house, or as part of an unpaid gang to work on building sites, in catering outlets making sandwiches for supermarkets or as drug mules or commonly as prostitutes servicing up to 30 men a day.  Right now there could be someone in your street or town who is enslaved and you would know nothing about it.

A modern slave is de-humanised, brainwashed into non action, because she has been drugged and terrorised into thinking that if she tries to escape not only will she/he be killed but his/her captors will also find their family and kill them too.  Often the enslaved person forced into prostitution is simply known by a number  – hence Anya17 or in Mende’s case ‘abda’ or ‘yebit’ meaning slave and person worthy of no name.  Imagine if your son or daughter, your mum or your sister, being groomed and seduced to go to London for a ‘job’ and you never saw them again!”

Our generation is charged with ending slavery.  William Wilberforce spent 36 years in getting parliament to make it illegal now we have to stop it all together.  The Victorians stamped out a visual transatlantic slave trade; now it is up to us to eradicate the secret and dangerous underground trade in people.

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Author: Hayley Chappell - Online Marketer
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December 2nd 2011
Anya17: The Cast

Following the recent auditions for Anya 17 we are pleased to announce the following cast and production team.

THE CAST
Anya                                Andrea Tweedale
Mila                                  Joanne Holton
Natalia/Carole               Lucy Baines
Elena                               Amy Webber
Gabriel/Uri                     Sean Boyes
Viktor                             Thomas Hopkinson

Conductor: Clark Rundell
Director: Caroline Clegg

Première performance in Liverpool on Wednesday 7 March 2012. Further performance at RNCM in Manchester on Friday 9 March 2012.

The audition panel wish to congratulate all who auditioned for the high standard of preparation and presentation.

If you would like more information about the roles in Anya 17, visit our cast page.

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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November 30th 2011
Anya17: Caroline Clegg to direct Anya17

Caroline Clegg to direct Anya17

I am absolutely delighted to announce that the Director of the highly successful play ‘Slave – A Question of Freedom’ is now to direct Anya17.

Caroline Clegg is an Actor, Freelance Director and Artistic Director of Feelgood Theatre Productions

Caroline’s recent adaptation of Mende Nazer’s autobiography and subsequent direction of the resulting play, ‘Slave…’ won the Pete Postlethwaite Award for Best New Play in 2011 following its world premiere at The Lowry in November 2010. Subsequently it was performed in the House of Lords and transferred to the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, the Unity Theatre Liverpool and International Slavery Museum and the Guildhall in Derby. Plans for 2012/13 include performing at the UN and in the USA.

With the Play lauded by both public and critics alike, Caroline is looking forward to the new challenge of directing Anya17:

“I am delighted to be working on Anya17 to highlight the abhorrent crime of trafficking women into sexual slavery. My journey on Slave – A Question of Freedom led me to some very dark places and I experienced audiences identifying with the true horror of slavery in the 21st century through bearing witness to the testimony of one person’s story.

The transformative effect and power of live theatre and music can change hearts and minds and I have been privileged to see that power in action. I feel honoured to be able to continue to use my craft as a story teller on Anya17 and most importantly to give voice to the voiceless.

There are 27 million slaves alive today, more than were stolen from Africa in four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade. Today, men, women and children are being trafficked all over the world by gangs in highly organised illegal, dangerous and secretive operations. We have the capacity to end trafficking and slavery in our lifetime and fight for a world without human bondage, a world where vulnerable people are not bought and sold. Together, we can and must take action; we have no excuse to turn away.”

We are all very excited to have such an experienced and well-respected Director on board, particularly one already so immersed in the subject matter and dedicated to using the Arts to bring the crime of modern day Slavery into the public eye.

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