Once upon a time, fifty years ago, Apollo (the sun-god) was President of Everything, while his dim sister (the moon-goddess) was just a cabaret artiste in a seedy nightclub. As the Americans invade the moon in July 1969, events downtown take a sinister turn and chaos ensues. Can the gods sort it out or is the “dickhead” President too dysfunctional? Adding a bonkers twist to the Apollo 11 commemorations, a talented cast presents a funopera that investigates our fascination for all things lunar. Apollo’s Mission confuses fact with fiction, earth with moon, god-like humans with a Trump-like god - and then with now.
Wednesday 7th August 2019 at 21:25
The Place Theatre London WC1H 9PY
as part of the 2019 Tête-à-Tête Festival of new opera
Small-scale opera to mark the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing
- political satire includes Apollo, the sun-god, as 'President Trump'
- triumph of humanity & feminism
- the burning desire to explore & the anxieties of a new world
• NASA transcript of the flight recordings
• Buzz Aldrin's memoirs
• speeches by Kennedy and Nixon
• Trump's bragging of sexual assault
text Norman Welch
music Edward Lambert
staging & movement Korina Kokkali
Natasha Agarwal (mezzo-soprano)
Helen Bailey (soprano)
Dominic Bowe (baritone)
Daniel Joy (tenor)
Sofia Livotov (soprano)
Samuel Lom (bass)
Catriona Scott (clarinet)
Luke Wyeth (percussion)
Susan Holmes (piano)
Michael Papadopoulos (conductor)
Korina Kokkali (stage & movement director) graduated from MA: Movement Directing and Teaching in the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama with a scholarship from Onassis Foundation. She has a BA in Theatre Studies at National & Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Diplome de Professeur de Barre Astie. She trained as a dancer and dance teacher in the Higher Professional Dance School Niki Kontaxaki. She has participated as a dancer in many performances for S.I.S.X.E, in video-dances for the Athens Video Dance Project, in PK theatre Dance Festival in Athens and at the Lighting Ceremonies of the Olympic Flame. She has also participated as an actor in theatre plays as Checkov’s Three Sisters and Yunkerman in Poreia Theatre. Since 2014, Korina has worked as a choreographer and movement director in several productions in Athens such the operas Hedda Gabler (Greek National Opera), The Shell Game and Trouble in Tahiti, (The Medium Project -opera group), Karagatsis Yungerman, Ibsen’s Wild duck, Checkov’s Three Sisters, Karagatsis Chimaera (Poreia Theatre) and Dimitriadis Therismos (Greek National Theatre). In London she worked as an assistant of movement with the director Simona Gonella in MA Lab Divising Workshop at RADA, as an assistant movement director of Fran Mangiacasale with the director Polly Graham at Dido & Aeneas with Blackheath Opera and with the director Anna Poole in Oxford Drama School.
Michael Papadopoulos is a British repetiteur and conductor. He has trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio, and was the Young Artist Repetiteur for Opera Holland Park’s 2018 season. From September, he will be working for Scottish Opera as their Emerging Artist Repetiteur. He has a varied portfolio as a conductor, working both in opera and in concert. He conducted a performance of Daniel Saleeb’s Occo’s Eternal Act at the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of their “Opera: Passion, Power, and Politics” exhibition, as well as leading workshops on Na’ama Zisser’s Mamzer Bastard, which was premiered by the Royal Opera House last season. He was also music director for a staged performance of contemporary scenes by composers and librettists at the Guildhall Opera School last year. Recent concert performances have included Bach’s St John Passion, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem and Handel’s Messiah (with the choir and musicians of St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge), as well as appearing as the soloist in Poulenc’s Organ Concerto with the Thames Chamber Orchestra. He has performed on BBC Radio 3 several times as both a pianist and organist, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.
Soprano Sofia Livotov is an international performer of opera, art-songs and oratorio. Her recent engagements include a concert tour through Indonesia, opera productions in the German Alps and a recital in Berlin with the pianist Natalia Pegarkova-Barenboim. Since 2019 she is a singer for the Lost Chord Dementia Charity UK. Sofia has appeared in contemporary opera productions of the Lucerne Opera House and has made her debut as Anna (Nabucco) at the Leiden Theatre. Further roles on the operatic stage include Pamina, Zerlina, Ännchen, Musetta and Adina. She has worked with stage directors such as Floris Visser, Miranda Lakerveld and Pierre Audi. Sofia`s concert repertoire includes Haydn's oratorios The Creation and The Seasons, Beethoven`s 9th Symphony performed under the direction of David Zinman at the Tonhalle Zurich, Ravel`s Shéhérezade sung under the direction of Ed Spanjaard and Goebbels`s Country of Last Things performed at TivoliVredenburg. Sofia has obtained her vocal degrees at the Conservatory of Lucerne with Liliane Zürcher and at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam with Valérie Guillorit. She has been granted with scholarships by Swiss and German foundations as well as by the Bob Boas Charitable Trust in the UK. She is currently coached by Nelly Miricioiu in London.