About this project
Hello, and thank you for taking the time to watch our Kickstarter project video! Here's our new NYMF production poster:
WE ARE ON FACEBOOK! www.facebook.com/themapmakersopera
We have to tell you this because we are not allowed to connect our Facebook page through the Kickstarter portal.
So as to give a sense of the music and lyrics for our show, check out this duet from The Mapmaker's Opera with Maddie Featherby and Adrian Li Donni performing the Act II song, 'Two of a Kind'.
How Did This Musical Come About?
In 2008, Australian composer and musical director, Kevin Purcell, discovered a novel with an enticing and enigmatic title: The Mapmaker's Opera.
Enthralled by the story and so taken by the prospect of turning the beautiful and poignant love story into an epic Broadway-style Musical, Kevin hopped on a plane and literally knocked on the door of the author, Béa Gonzalez, in Canada. A few days later, Kevin flew home with an exclusive agreement to allow himself and long-time collaborator, Victor Kazan, to work on adapting Béa's novel for the musical stage.
Five years on, and the Musical of The Mapmaker's Opera is ready to be seen on-stage for the first time having been chosen; through a blind, multi-stage, adjudication process by a jury of esteemed Broadway creatives, as a Next Link selection for the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival (July 7 - 27).
Along the journey, Kevin and Victor, with the help of close friends and colleagues, have recorded some of the songs from the show. You can check them out below on the SoundCloud link or, alternatively check them out on the 'Mapmaker's' website.
Tell Me More About The Story Of The Musical?
Set on the eve of the Mexican Revolution in the Yucatán Peninsula (the place of the ‘Mundo Maya’) the Musical recounts the poignant story of a young Spaniard, Diego Clemente, and La Señorita Sofia Duarte – star-crossed lovers whose fate is sealed by a desperate quest to save two, once-common, birds from extinction.
From childhood days in his native Spain spent poring over a copy of John J. Audubon's luminous bird illustrations, young Clemente had dreamed of seeing such birds in person. When an opportunity to work with a famous naturalist in Mexico presents itself, Diego sets sail for the Yucatán where, upon arriving, he falls in love with Sofia, a beautiful but defiant woman as entranced by these beautiful avian creatures as he.
The action takes place in 1909, in and around the city of Mérida in the Yucatán Peninsula, where local plantation owners ostentatiously enjoy their vast wealth amassed from the backbreaking toil of Mayans who, from dawn to nightfall, are forced to harvest the prized henequen (a type of cactus).
With revolutionary rumblings in the background, the story reaches its powerful and heart-breaking climax when a workers' uprising threatens not only two of the world's only remaining passenger pigeons - being held in captivity by a powerful and avaricious local plantation owner - but the very lives of our young lovers.
It Sounds As If There Is More To This Musical Than A Simple Love Story?
Yes, that's right. In fact, there are a whole bunch of 'big' issues that Béa, Kevin and Victor feel very strongly about that are intertwined through the main plot elements in the show.
In a world where we still have the dislocation and genocide of indigenous peoples, and the systematic deforestation and consequent loss of habitat leading to extinction of both flora and fauna, The Mapmaker's Opera confronts these issues head on, whilst speaking to the dignity and courage of the Mexican people and the restoration of Mayan culture, history, and place.
This is why every pledge level has been given the name of an endangered bird species in México's Yucatán region. (see the images below).
Top row: Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Agami Heron, Great Curassow, Audubon's Shearwater . Middle: row Mississippi Kite , Azure-Crowned Hummingbird, Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher, Black Cheeked Woodpecker. Bottom row: Blue-Headed Vireo, Violet-Green Swallow, Scarlet Macaw, Eastern Phoebe. Gallery Design © 2014 Chris Stevens. All Rights Reserved.
So Why Do You Need My Pledge as Support?
This campaign is to raise slightly less than half the finances necessary for the production fund component to take part in the New York Musical Theatre Festival in July, for a minimum of 5 performances in an Off-Broadway theatre.
Should We Be Asking For A Greater Amount?
No, we have worked out very carefully what minimum amount we need to cover off our funding shortfall. Of course, Kickstarter campaigns can exceed the amount requested and we're hoping that a few people will think enough of our new show to pledge more than our set levels of support. To note for those not experienced with Kickstarter: in the case we don't reach our identified goal of $37,700, we don't receive any funds at all. it's all or nothing!
What Are 'Production' Funds?
Production funds are the monies required to meet expenses incurred for either services rendered, salaries to individuals attached to the project and/or other applicable fees.
Whereas, the Festival pays for, and/or subsidises, a significant portion of infrastructure, marketing and production costs, as co-producers, we still have to meet our respective portion of production expenses as part of our Festival contract.
Where Are Your Costs Incurred?
Rather than an line-by-line detailed budget breakdown, we have created an overview budget below so that you can see where our production liabilities are spent. In just a few cases, as it is not appropriate to reveal the remuneration negotiated to secure the expert services of certain persons attached to the project, we have listed the line item as 'Person X'.
Why Is This So Important Now?
As it is for the other 9 Next-Link shows selected for inclusion, taking part in the Festival means that we have the opportunity to reach out to the 40,000 people who come to see the Festival's productions, including important theatrical producers from all over the USA, as well as private theatre investors (Angels) who we hope will love our show as much as we do, and want to shepherd it onto the next stage of development.
I Have Heard That Everyone Who Writes A New Musical Believes Their Show Will Be The Next Big Thing On Broadway? Will yours?
Actually, after the New York Musical Theatre Festival, we'd like to go to America's regional theatres, especially those theatres that serve Latino/Hispanic communities. And not only that, we REALLY want to do the show in México and Central America. We think letting our show be seen and heard by as many people as possible who love México and its inspired musics of Rumba-Flamenco, Mariachi, Son Yucateco and Musica Trova (romantic song styles from the Yucatán region) as well as other Cuban/Latin-inspired music that makes up the marvellous music score is a totally cool thing to do.
What Do I Do Now To Support This Project?
Check out our pledges on the right of this screen. They're all enticing - many of them unique, if not surprising as the pledge amounts go higher! (Images of some Rewards can be viewed at the very bottom of this page).
Remember that you can pledge more than the prescribed pledge level. If we actually exceed the amount we have determined we need, Kevin and Victor will be able to put their personal contribution toward paying their cast and crew an amount closer to what they really deserve for their incredible artistry and talent.
Thank you for your support. Pledge now and enjoy knowing that your founding contribution will have been crucial in The Mapmaker's Opera being seen and enjoyed by more and more people in the years to come.
Images of Selected Rewards:
Risks and challenges
Here’s what we’re doing to minimize your risk as a contributor:
Essentially reducing risk is all about generating sufficient operating funds and budget containment. Having a professional and experienced General Management/Line Producer in New York City ensuring that our project works within these established parameters is critical. This is in place. The overall production budget indicates that total costs will be in the range of 80-85K (USD). This includes a contingency factor of 15%.
Knowing that the Kickstarter campaign only covers slightly less than half the funds required to participate in the New York Musical Theatre Festival, we were approached by independent Australian producers wishing to assist in fundraising, through major sponsorship, the shortfall in our financial estimates.
Finally, we are are actively seeking and investigating sponsorship from companies and organisations whose product(s) or services relate to our project in some meaningful way. Consequently, corporate entities with strong ties to the Latino/Hispanic and Mexican communities are being warmly encouraged to support this artistic endeavour.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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