Stage Director Stefano Vizioli and Musical Director Aaron Carpene have between them contributed to over 100 opera productions in well-established opera companies and festivals internationally. Stefano Vizioli is currently the Artistic Director of the Teatro Verdi di Pisa in Italy.
As opera assumes greater popularity throughout the Asian region, Vizioli and Carpene have come to specialise in reconceptualising Western opera through the traditional performing arts and theology of Asian cultures. Their production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea in the Royal Kingdom of Bhutan in 2013 brought together an international opera cast with the Royal Academy of Performing Arts in Bhutan. The New York Times’ Rachael Monroe proclaimed it, “not just an extraordinary achievement, but a deeply moving human experience.” In 2016 Japan Orfeo was realised at the sacred temple of Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura, a celebration of early Italian opera and Nō Theatre. Paula Deitz from the Weekly Standard writes, “It was beyond the beyond, one of those rare moments in life when one is thrilled to be alive for the privilege of hearing/seeing/feeling a genius of a creation. Aaron and Stefano have succeeded in producing an opera that links antiquity with modernity with a seamless result that lifts the soul as with the greatest art.” The work of the two directors can be seen at operaESTrema
Robert Turnbull has spent 20 years raising the profile of the arts in Cambodia. He has personally supported musicians studying abroad as well as written numerous articles in the NYT and WSJ. In 2012 he created Le Festival d’En Blanc et Noir, a piano festival in the Corbières Mountains in France.
When Robert arrived in Cambodia much of this effort was focused on the traditional indigenous performing artists at a time when it was a clear priority. Now the situation has moved on. Skills in Western classical music are currently highly sought-after, and yet, unlike Vietnam or Thailand, countries with tangible infrastructure, there has been a little in the way of government support or training.
Cambodia is a nation that accepts help from other countries and institutions to help foster professionalism, resources and expertise.
The Cambodian Magic Flute project is designed to further these changes.
Nam Narim comes from a long family line of esteemed Cambodian classical dancers. Narim began her classical training at the age of nine. She completed the Secondary School of Fine Arts in 2000 and received her BA in choreographic arts from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh in 2004. She continued her studies at the Korean National University of Arts where she graduated in 2009 with a master’s degree in choreography. She is currently a member of the Cambodian National Theatre troupe, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts while being also part of the artistic leadership team at Amrita Performing Arts, a contemporary dance and production company based in Phnom Penh. Narim has performed in a number of new works of contemporary dance and was a featured dancer in CRACK – a new work of Cambodian contemporary dance by German choreographer Arco Renz that was awarded the 2012 ZKB Patronage Prize in Zurich Switzerland in September 2012. She is also a performer in PERSPHONE, an opera production directed by the renowned American stage director Peter Sellars in Madrid, Spain; Aix en Provence and Lyon, France, respectively in 2012, 2015, and 2016. Narim has choreographed works at Amrita Performing Arts’ Contemporary Dance Platform in Cambodia, at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore, and in the International Young Choreographers Project in Taiwan.