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A Broadway Musical set in Yucatán, Mexico, 1909. A love-story with music inspired by Flamenco, Mariachi, Trova Yucateca & Mayan culture
A Broadway Musical set in Yucatán, Mexico, 1909. A love-story with music inspired by Flamenco, Mariachi, Trova Yucateca & Mayan culture
83 backers pledged AU$ 38,143 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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AU$ 38,143

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Hello, and thank you for taking the time to watch our Kickstarter project video!  Here's our new NYMF production poster:

NYMF_Production_Poster
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).

Endangered or Extinct Birds in México's Yucatán Peninsula
Endangered or Extinct Birds in México's Yucatán Peninsula

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'.

BUDGET OVERVIEW:

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:

Cinty (Australian Children's Story Collection) by Mary D. Daly
Cinty (Australian Children's Story Collection) by Mary D. Daly
Timmy's Christmas Surprise by Mary D. Daly
Timmy's Christmas Surprise by Mary D. Daly
Flamenco Guitar: Spanish Luthier, Juan L. Cayuela (Seville)
Flamenco Guitar: Spanish Luthier, Juan L. Cayuela (Seville)

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

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 10 or more About $9

    Ornate Hawk-Eagle Level: We will gratefully recognise and thank you as a MMO Founding Supporter on The Mapmaker's Opera web site (you may choose to use a pseudonym, or other non-identifying name, if you prefer).

    You will also gain complimentary access to the Bronze Level privileges in the 'MMO Club', a private area on the MMO web site, where we keep our supporters and major donors informed of the very latest news and updates, including video material not posted anywhere else (see The Mapmaker's Opera web site for further details).

    The MMO Club becomes accessible on the day we reach our campaign target!

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    Pledge AU$ 25 or more About $23

    Agami Heron Level: You will receive eveything offered at the $10 pledge level. In addition we will send you a personal postcard of our Opening Night performance at the New York Music Theatre Festival (NYMF) signed by the entire creative team. Remember, the MMO Club becomes accessible on the day we reach our campaign target!

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    10 backers
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    Pledge AU$ 35 or more About $32

    Great Curassow Level: You will receive everything offered at the $25 pledge level. In addition at this level of support, we are delighted to further include an mp3 of a song from the show as recorded in New York during the Festival sent to you via email - and never to be made freely available at any point thereafter on the MMO web site or at SoundCloud - as well as a Playbill signed by the entire creative team. Complimentary access privileges in the MMO Club is now at the Silver Level. Remember, the MMO Club becomes accessible on the day we reach our campaign target!

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    3 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 45 or more About $41

    Audubon's Shearwater Level: You will receive everything offered at the $35 pledge level. As the level of endangerment to the birds in the Yucatán; as named for our pledge levels increases, so do our rewards. At this level you will receive not one, but two mp3s of songs from the show recorded in New York during the Festival sent to you via email. Again, these songs will never be offered for free at any time hereafter. Complimentary access to MMO Club privileges remains at the Silver Level. Remember, the MMO Club becomes accessible on the day we reach our campaign target!

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    Pledge AU$ 75 or more About $68

    Mississippi Kite Level: Of course, you receive everything offered at the $45 pledge level. Just as the Mississippi Kite is becoming increasingly rare, at this level we are pleased to offer you your own backing track to any song sung in the show by the characters of Sofia or Diego for your own Karaoke! Additionally, either Kevin or Victor will send you a hand-written postcard from New York during the Festival. Finally, at this level you attain Gold Level privileges within the MMO Club gaining complimentary access to our most premium content (hint: unseen videos!) Remember, the MMO Club becomes accessible on the day we reach our campaign target!

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    Pledge AU$ 200 or more About $181

    Azure-Crowned Hummingbird Level: OK, whoa! That's a big jump! Yep, we know, but our rewards take on a different character now too. In addition to everything offered at the $75 level, you have the opportunity to either meet privately with Victor and Kevin after any one performance you attend of The Mapmaker's Opera at the Festival or, if you can't get there, we'll do the next best thing and reach out to you via Skype (or other comparable service). Finally, we'll also send you, framed, one page of Kevin's own hand-written score of the show (he's old-fashioned like that and still uses pencil and paper, go figure!) Of course you've got complimentary Gold Level privileges in the MMO Club to look forward to as well. Remember, the MMO Club becomes accessible on the day we reach our campaign target!

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    Pledge AU$ 750 or more About $677

    OK, so this breaks the previous pattern. For this level of pledge, you either have to be attending the New York Music Theatre Festival (NYMF) or live in Melbourne, Australia. If this is you, then why not consider a private dinner with Kevin and the show's leading lady on us? One important thing to note: we do need to limit this opportunity to only two pledges (otherwise Kevin will get fat!) We'll cater for all food preferences no problem. Of course, you do also get complimentary Gold Level privileges in the MMO Club at The Mapmaker's Opera web site.

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,750 or more About $1,580

    Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher Level: The first of two pledges at this level. Did you know that in addition to being a great screenwriter, lyricist and bookwriter, Victor is also an Artist? What about an original painting on a theme of The Mapmaker's Opera for your wall, and whilst you are looking at your new acquisition, sit and read a bound-copy of the Libretto from the Musical. And, yes, you guessed it, this is a single opportunity pledge. Will you hate yourself if you miss out?

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,750 or more About $1,580

    Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher (2) Level: Darn, Kevin can't paint. In fact he can't even draw a stick family, but he can write music. So, he's agreed to give one lucky person a soft-cover bound version of the entire original piano/vocal score to The Mapmaker's Opera. Please note: this original version of The Mapmaker's Opera musical will not ever be published, so if you want this, only you, one other person (further down in the pledge list) and Kevin will have the three complete original scores.

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    Pledge AU$ 1,850 or more About $1,671

    Blue-Headed Vireo Level: Like the increasingly rare Blue-headed Vireo, at this level of pledge, we're offering a couple of very special things for the literary-minded amongst you (and especially if you have small children or grandchildren). To begin, you will receive • a first-edition, rare, and out-of-print, 1967 hardback copy of the children's storybook, 'Timmy's Christmas Surprise' by the famous Australian children's author, Mary D. Daly, (who, by the way, is Kevin's grandmother). What we love about this reward is that a certain four-year old little boy whose name is (wait for it...) 'Kevie', helps his paralysed friend, Timmy, find the joy of Christmas. The novel is notably illustrated by some of Australia's most famous oil-painting and watercolour artists • Kevin will compose for you a personal piece of music based on the letters of your first or surname as you prefer, mount the music in an A3/Tabloid-size frame and post it anywhere in the world. Limited to 7 people only (because of very limited copies of the book!)

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    Pledge AU$ 2,500 or more About $2,258

    Violet-Green Swallow Level: This is so high, you're almost above the tree line. The entry point for our increasing top-of-the-line rewards is as follows: you or your company's logo (brand) included on the front page of the MMO website • Kevin's own hardback, 1st. Edition, copy of 'The Mapmaker's Opera' novel inscribed with a message from the author, Béa Gonzalez • One embossed, stitch-bound, hard-back copy of the entire original piano/vocal score signed by Kevin and Victor • The conductor baton (hand-crafted by USA baton-maker extraordinaire, Tate Newland) that Kevin used for conducting WICKED in London's West End • A copy of both 'Timmy's Christmas Surprise' and 'Cinty' by author Mary D. Daly (Kevin's grandmother). The book has exquisite illustrations by the Who's-Who of Australia's most famous Artists, including Sir Hans Heysen, Ernest Buckmaster and William Dobell.

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    Pledge AU$ 3,500 or more About $3,161

    Violet-Green Swallow Level: It's going to have to be worth it at this level isn't it! Alright then - Drum-roll please! For this pledge, we're going to give one amazingly fortunate person, Kevin's own Flamenco guitar* made for him in 2008 by Luthier, Juan L. Cayuela, in Seville, Spain. In fact, it's the guitar used to compose the Flamenco and Rumba inspired sections of MMO (i.e., think the Gypsy Kings!) • A first-edition and very rare, out-of-print, hardback copy (1961) of 'Cinty' one of the most sought after children's storybooks by the late Australian children's author, Mary D. Daly. (Kevin's grandmother). The book has exquisite illustrations by the Who's-Who of Australia's most famous Artists, including Sir Hans Heysen, Ernest Buckmaster and William Dobell. To quote from the infamous South Park episode 'The Spirit of Christmas', for this pledge, "There can be only one!" • Complimentary access to the Gold Level privileges in the MMO Club on The Mapmaker's web site. *NB: Shipping to Australia, the USA or Mexico only (NOT to anywhere in the world as stated below).

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    Pledge AU$ 8,000 or more About $7,225

    Scarlet Macaw (Extinct) Level: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER #1. Have you ever wanted to be a theatrical Associate Producer? For this ultimate commitment, your name will appear in this capacity in the New York Music Theatre Festival production Playbill of The Mapmaker's Opera; in all press releases, advertising and/or any marketing materials where Associate Producer credit listing is provided. Added to this you receive: • Two nights accommodation in New York during the 2014 Festival and round-trip economy airfares for two people within USA (excluding Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico) • Attendance at any one rehearsal, and two tickets to any one of the scheduled performances of our show, during the Festival • Complimentary access to the Gold Level privileges in the MMO Club on The Mapmaker's Opera web site.

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    Pledge AU$ 8,000 or more About $7,225

    Scarlet Macaw (Extinct) Level: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER #2. Have you ever wanted to be a theatrical Associate Producer? For this ultimate commitment, your name will appear in this capacity in the New York Music Theatre Festival production Playbill of The Mapmaker's Opera; in all press releases, advertising and/or any marketing materials where Associate Producer credit listing is provided. Added to this you receive: • Two nights accommodation in New York during the 2014 Festival and round-trip economy airfares for two people from Mexico only • Attendance at any one rehearsal, and two tickets to any one of the scheduled performances of our show, during the Festival • Complimentary access to the Gold Level privileges in the MMO Club on The Mapmaker's Opera web site.

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    Pledge AU$ 8,000 or more About $7,225

    Scarlet Macaw (Extinct) Level: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER #3. Recognising that the author of The Mapmaker's Opera, Béa Gonzalez, lives and works in Canada, it is only appropriate that we have a commensurate opportunity for a serious Canadian musical theatre supporter. Have you ever wanted to be a theatrical Associate Producer? For this ultimate commitment, your name will appear in this capacity in the New York Music Theatre Festival production Playbill of The Mapmaker's Opera; in all press releases, advertising and/or any marketing materials where Associate Producer credit listing is provided. Added to this you receive: • Two nights accommodation in New York during the 2014 Festival and round-trip economy airfares for two people from Canada only • Attendance at any one rehearsal, and two tckets to any one of the scheduled performances of our show, during the Festival • Complimentary access to the Gold Level privileges in the MMO Club on The Mapmaker's Opera web site.

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Funding period

- (30 days)