A Trip to Africa
A Trip to Africa was performed for the first time in the UK on 3rd December 2016, presented by Dario Salvi with the Imperial Vienna Orchestra, the Octagon Singers and cast of soloists.
Read a review by the Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain here.
The backstory so far…
A couple of years ago, Dario came across an intriguing piece of music called A Trip to Africa Polka, which he wanted to perform with the orchestra. He began researching its origins and found very little on the operetta from which it was taken. So began months of research into where and when it had been performed and, most importantly, where the rest of the musical score could be found.
After scouring archives and enlisting the help of contacts within the world of Viennese music, he came across the University of Wisconsin-Madison who, quite remarkably, had the entire operetta, including musical scores, parts, scripts and promptbooks filed away in a box in the basement of their library.
Over the following months, the University worked tirelessly to scan each document and send them over to Dario for studying. It soon became apparent that they had all of the material needed to enable us to perform the operetta in its entirety, however it needed countless corrections and editing as the documentation was all hand-written.
We are now at the stage where all of the music has been restored and digitised, and all of the scripted material has been compiled into a unique libretto. Several of the pieces from the operetta have been tested in a concert setting with the orchestra and have been received very well.
Roles and Characters
Andrew Inglis in the role of MIRADILLO – An impecunious European (Tenor)
Selina Hawker in the role of TITANIA FANFANI – The Heiress (Soprano)
Bob Arnett in the role of FANFANI PASHA – Uncle of Titania (Baritone/Comedian)
Djinh Kamei in the role of ANTARSID – Prince of the Maronites (Tenor)
Rebecca Hunt in the role of TESSA – A young milliner from Palermo (Mezzo/Soubrette)
Felicity Devonshire in the role of BUCCAMETTA – Mother of Tessa (Alto/Character)
Dhilan Gnanadurai in the role of PERICLES – A hotel keeper (Bass)
Fearghus Cooper in the role of NAKID – A Coptic dealer in poisons and perfumes (Tenor/Comedian) and A MUEZZIN (Baritone)
Samantha Hawkins in the role of SEBIL – An Abyssinian slave (Alto)
The Octagon Singers in the role of the CHORUS – Maronites, Hotel Servants, Guests of Fanfani, Slave Traders, Muleteers, Dancers, Bedouins, Greek and Arabian People.
We would like to give special thanks to the following:
Principal support from:
Caterina Belleri, Mario Maffeis, Sara Maffeis, Alga Pialorsi, Letizia Salvi, Simon Shirley
With thanks to:
Peter Fowler, Chris Griggs, Anita Grimwood, Angela Lamont, Alison Lincoln, Samuel Ponchiardi, Charlotte Stratta and other anonymous supporters
With thanks to the following for their support in researching, advising on and showing encouragement for this project: