As befitting most operas, Queen Boudicca a Metal opera is tragic in theme and is based on actual events occurring at the beginning of the first century. And just as befitting in this courageous, creative undertaking is the multi-layered approach by Berklee College of Music Professor and native Rhode Islander; Robert E. Schlink to the telling of this little known rebellion of the Celtic population during Nero’s reign as Rome’s emperor.
The Opera, directed by Carol Schlink, begins with a traditional story-telling song using a 2000 year old instrument and ultimately marshals the forces of a Heavy Metal band, Chamber orchestra, ancient Celtic music, Twentieth Century music, and a Celtic drumline. Ancient instruments such as the Warrior’s Lyre, and war Carnyx, reproduced by Schlink, are also used to create an overwhelming musical force that propels us all headlong to its tragic conclusion.
Appearing as Queen Boudicca is Providence native and Berklee alumna, Ava Gaudet. Ms. Gaudet appeared on Broadway as Maureen in RENT and her numerous TV credits include NCIS, Mike and Molly, Private Practice and as Gina Gambarro in ABC’s Ugly Betty.
Adrienne Cowan plays the warrior Asceawa, Boudicca’s second in command. Also a Berklee alumna, Cowan is the lead singer of the Boston-based metal band Seven Spires. She is also known for singing with Sweden’s Amaranthe, and Brazilian Melodic rock/metal guitarist Mike Kerr, with whom she received the International Portuguese Music Award for Best Rock Performance in ’16 .
The show also utilizes powerful art projections for the scenery, all custom created for the show by a local North Smithfield artist, Gary DesLauriers.
“We plan to publish 3 comic books using the artwork created for the show, continuing the saga begun with Queen Boudicca” says Bob Schlink. “And patrons of the show can purchase T-shirts emblazoned with Gary’s powerful art.
“The use of a metal band’s music may, at first, seem odd and appear dissonant to the ears. But when put into context with the violence, betrayal and tragic theme of the opera, the music fits right in and is truly appropriate to move the story along,” says Bob Schlink.
QUEEN BOUDICCA a Metal Opera will be presented at Rhode Island School of Design Auditorium, 7 Canal Walk, Providence River Greenway, Providence, RI 02903 on Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 8pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at: levelexchange.ticketleap.com
by Joseph Shansky