Report from Andrea Spreafico - Residency: Durante and the Bad Loves:


BIT Teatergarasjen is one of the partners in the residency program Connecting Dots hosted by Mala Voadora in Portugal. The connection was established four years ago when we were collaborating with the National Theatre in Lisbon. Mala Voadora is a theatre company that also do several residencies in Portugal. They open their new residency space this fall and we’re happy to send artists to be a part of creating a new flow of artistic exchange in the municipality of Santiago do Cacém. Before the summer we had the artist Andrea Spreafico visiting the already existing and well established residency that Mala Voadora has in Porto. Andrea went on the residency with his team for the upcoming show Durante and the Bad Loves.

18. august 2023
Av BIT Teatergarasjen

The residency Conncting Dots took place between June 6th and 18th at Mala Voadora in Porto. Mala Voadora is a gem in the middle of the city. It has a small but well-equipped black box with telescopic tribune and three rooms for lodging. The rooms are extremely spacious, as they are apparently also used as space for events. They all have kitchens and dining tables, that can be used to prepare dinner for several people and there is a roof-terrace on top of the black box. These details can explain how easy it can be to work in this context. We were staying in a small complex where we could work 7 hours in the studio downstairs, go out in the city center to discuss what we worked at, with a bit of distance, come back home, cook dinner together, relax and start again the day after. In these conditions, the level of intellectual and artistic exchange among us was definitely as high as our skills could reach.

During December 2022-May 2023, Matteo Fargion and I have written the play Durante and the Bad Loves, a piece of music theatre based on the middle part of Dante’s Purgatory (i.e. Songs 10 to 26). It’s a piece for 4 singers and 4 synthesisers. At Mala Voadora we could meet the singers for the first time (we would have then met the musicians in Bergen 5 weeks later), test and train the score of the piece and draft an idea of the movements on stage. Because of our residency in Porto, I could investigate the scene there and decided to collaborate with a choreographer and a lighting Designer from Porto. Thanks to the help of Cristina Planas Leitao and Drew Klein we got in contact with Daniela Cruz and Carin Geada. During the residency Daniela worked two hours every morning 9-11 with the performers. Then I was going with them through the different scenes of the piece from 11 to 17, using also the material created by Daniela. Carin visited us and watched a run during rehearsal, but initiated the collaboration with us during the residency in Bergen. The rehearsals at Mala Voadora were done without the musicians and without the set, but it was the chance to focus on the dramaturgy and the format of the piece.

Durante and the Bad Loves will be presented at our festival Meteor 2023, the festival take place in Bergen 18-28. October.

Credits of pictures: rehearsal: Robert M Johanson, Francesca Fargion, Martha MacBean, Matteo Fargion (photo by Andrea Spreafico) after rehearsal: Robert M Johanson, Francesca Fargion, Andrea Spreafico, Matteo Fargion (photo by Martha MacBean)