The Clowns - Research and Development

by The Opera Makers in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 1st January 2020 we successfully raised £5,191 with 64 supporters in 56 days

We are creating a radical adaptation of the canonical pairing – I Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana.

by The Opera Makers in London, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Any additional money raised will all go towards taking the project from the Research and Development to the stage.  It will be a huge step forwards towards bringing our work to wider audiences.


We are The Opera Makers, a new company led artistically by Becca Marriott and Panaretos Kyriatzidis, and produced by Joana Fragata and Dominic Mattos.

We are looking for your help to raise funds to Research and Develop our first show - an immersive reimagining of I Pagliacci and Cavalleria Rusticana.


Research and Development is the most crucial part of the life cycle of any new theatrical production.  

When you go to the theatre and experience something incredible, the work you are seeing will have been brewing for months, if not years - like a very fine wine.  

Research and Development allows theatre creators time and space to research and write scripts, try out new musical and theatrical methods, work with performers to see how the piece hangs together on stage, and to improvise and play.  This time and intense work is crucial if a show is to be a vibrant and vital success.  

Research and Development is also a chance for a theatre company to share its work with other professionals and target audience members and get feedback and sponsorship. 

Without time and money to properly Research and Develop a show, most shows would never make it to the stage.


We are making Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci, two shows traditionally performed together, into one unified piece: an exploration of coercive control, domestic violence, and relationship power play.

Cavalleria will be sung in Italian and evocatively staged using influences of physical theatre and will be enveloped in the music and drama of I Pagliacci – The Clowns.  This piece will be radically adapted and sung in English. As Cavalleria unfolds on stage, a darker drama erupts in the audience, blurring line between reality and fiction. The curtain closes on tragic murder.

We are seeking funding for two days of musical Research and Development during which we will explore how the operas are fused, and through which we aim to create the final libretto and score for the piece.  


Becca Marriott is an established singer, librettist and dramaturg.  She has been commissioned to adapt operas by various institutions, including City University, T-Arts and Lucid Arts.  Her libretto for La Serva Padrona received superb press at the Tête-à-Tête Festival, 2013.

Panaretos is a respected musical director, arranger and pianist, who has worked extensively throughout Europe.  He has won numerous prizes, including the Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform and the Gerald Moore Award.

Panaretos and Becca first collaborated on La bohème for the King’s Head Theatre, writing the libretto and leading the abridgement process, and creating a new arrangement for the ensemble. The show transferred to the West End in 2017, receiving an Oliver Award nomination.

In 2017, they co-created their second opera, Tosca, for which Becca proposed and researched the concept and crafted the dramaturgy and libretto, while Panaretos guided the process of abridging the opera and arranged the score.  Tosca won the Off-West End Award for Best New Opera Production.

In 2018, they were commissioned to work on La Traviata based on a concept from director, Helena Jackson.   They collaborated closely to produce a new score and libretto for the piece, radically updating and reducing it.  The libretto is published by Oberon Modern Plays. The show will be revived in Taiwan in 2020. 


Joana Fragata is experienced in large scale project management, providing administrative and organisational support to a vast array of entities.  She has worked in the legal sector for the past decade.

Dominic Mattos has worked in production for shows at the Jermyn Street Theatre, the Hen and Chickens, Aldeburgh Music Festival, and the Edinburgh Fringe.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

7 of 10 claimed

£50 Reward

The first 10 £50 donors will be invited to a special showing of the Research and Development show, including free drinks and the chance to meet the cast.

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