The Shoemaker, produced by Welsh National Opera in partnership with Oasis Cardiff and Fio tells the story of Isabella, who makes shoes for people who have decided to leave their country to pursue a different future and find safety and freedom, or so they thought...
The Shoemaker is a powerful story about resilience, endurance, power, and compassion with timeless relevance. Isabella diligently shapes, stiches and creates shoes for people who have decided to leave their country to pursue a different future. Leaving a storm of hatred, injustice, oppression and war, a series of individuals journey off the beaten path in the hope of finding safety, equality, and freedom. But when they arrive in the promised land, they come face to face with a disgruntled King and soon realise that their troubles are not yet over.
An exhilarating fusion of Latin American, Persian, and Western classical musical influences weave together to enhance the storytelling, guiding the audience through this standing performance.
This new and exciting approach to opera gained an overwhelmingly positive response from both audience members and theatre reviewers.
'Director Sita Thomas has turned the Weston Studio into a charged space: I was made to feel very welcome and I know work like this will get new, multicultural audiences in.
Recent events in Iran loom over things as the show progresses, with screenings of actual footage from protests both there and in the UK – The Shoemaker’s intention to stir us up already in flow by this moment.'
★★★★ buzz magazine
‘Congratulations to Welsh National Opera for bringing together refugee crisis groups and working with a variety of artists to bring to fruition a wonderful new opera, The Shoemaker. And this is not just an opera, but is performed among the audience and with rhythmic dance to complement the splendid singing.
Director Sita Thomas has pulled together a moving and relevant musical and dance ensemble to explore the story of refugees and how they are received in their new country.
What really enhances this scene is the dancers portraying the flames devouring her work. Also flashed up on a large screen behind the action are scenes from Iran to give a contemporary flavour to this ensemble piece about freedom, equality and justice.’
★★★★★ Morning Star