Stewart Copeland's rock opera with Irene Grandi in Milan and Asti

“The Witches Seed' is not a rock opera, it's a rock opera”

This morning in the foyer of the Arcimboldi Theater in Milan the press conference was held to present 'The Witches Seed', a symphonic work written for the musical part by the drummer of the Police Stewart Copelandwhich uses some songs by the Pretenders leader Chrissie Hyndewhile the libretto is by the British/Irish playwright Jonathan Moore who is also entrusted with the direction.

They were there to meet the press to present the show which will be staged on May 31st at the Arcimboldi Theatre Stewart Copeland, Jonathan Moore, Irene Grandi protagonist of the show, Edvige Faini visual artist who created the video sets of the opera and the soprano Maddalena Calderoni.

Just like Maddalena Calderoni was the idea, in 2020, to ask Stewart Copeland if it were of interest to you to set to music a work inspired by the time of the Novara Dominican Inquisition, based on historical documents and procedural documents of the time which sent hundreds of women to the stake, branded as witches, specifically in the Ossola Valley, but also throughout the Alpine range and beyond. Copeland embraced the idea and got involved Jonathan Moore for writing a story set in the past that also told our present.

In 'The Witches Seed' three women are accused of being witches and will have to face the prejudices of a plague-infested city, thus waging a battle against the Inquisition, to preserve and protect their knowledge, their rituals and their professions.

On the contrary, through the eyes of the Inquisition distorted visions of sabbats and orgiastic rites emerge which, through the fault of the protagonists, take possession of the people. Through the story – set in a historical period of economic, social and political-spiritual crisis due to the plague and the spread of new faiths and heresies of accusations – of the oppression and torture of three women by the most obscurantist Church, the show seems therefore talk about our current condition, in a world on the brink of sinking into a new digital Middle Ages. A world in which the fight for the individual rights of women and everyone is of fundamental importance to lay the foundations of a rebirth.

The three protagonists of the story are Irene Grandi (“It's the first time I've faced a challenge of this kind, that is, singing together with opera singers”) and the two opera singers Maddalena Calderoni and Veronica Granatiero, the part of the Inquisitor is entrusted to the countertenor Ettore Agati.