Opera Prize 2021


12 / 11

The Witches Seed

Tones on the Stones

The Witches Seed

A Tale of witches, persecutions and illusions.
A wild stone Theatre in abandoned quarries of Ossola valley.
The Witches Seed is a contemporary opera with fantasy scenography using the most innovative digital technologies for a fully immersive horror show.


The Witches Seed (TWS) is a tale of witches, persecutions and illusions, inspired by history as documented in trial documents from the bloodiest years of the Inquisition and by hundreds of fascinating legends from the Alps. It is a contemporary opera with fantasy scenography using the most innovative digital technologies for a fully immersive horror show. TWS is performed in the spectacular abandoned quarry of Ossola valley transformed into a theater. This environment plays a main role as the huge quarry walls shape the content in a 270° dimension, it modifies the perception audiences get of the Opera being inside a huge wild stone basin and being touched by the music echoing from the abyss.

Directed by Gianni Marras, TWS is an innovative format for Opera as it merges classic style with new modern languages. The music has been composed by Stewart Copeland - The Police co-founder, more than 60 million records sold throughout his career, among which many soundtracks for movies, on the libretto of the brilliant British playwright Jonathan Moore. A number of songs are by the singer-songwriter Chrissie Hynde, leader of the famous group The Pretenders, that fit as an element of rupture in the contemporary orchestration.

The surprising set designed by Edvige Faini, concept artist appreciated in the best Hollywood studios, lighting and visual effects are based on video game approach and techniques, with the conductor Eimear Noone bringing in a large experience in that field.

TWS tells about a time of social, spiritual, political and economic crisis due to the spread of the plague, new faiths and heresies and of fears, women’s role, extremely similar to present times. The research made by Donne Si Fa Storia about historical witches’ trials and culture wants to be a stimulus for thinking, to look for questions rather than for ready-made answers about women, violence, independent thinking, power of knowledge, tolerance, respect for humans and the environment.

Finally, the possibility well represented by TWS to regenerate and reuse industrial abandoned places as quarries and to shape new cultural business through a sustainable approach will be an important message to youth as well as to stakeholders and policy makers.

TWS counts on relevant partners such as: BMST, NEMO, VIRTUAL CIRCLE, SKY ARTE, MANIFATTURA DOMODOSSOLA and MODE GAKUEN fashion school in Japan. This network is a clear example of how culture, business, education, fashion, and media can interact, contaminate each other, and empower territories towards a new reborning.

For more information about this project, please visit: https://thewitchesseed.com

Artistic Team


Stewart Copeland


Johnatan Moore

Jonathan Moore


Chrissie Hynde

Chrissie Hynde

Creative Partner


Edvige Faini

Immersive video sets

Gianni Marras

Gianni Marras

Stage Director


Eimear Noone



Gillian Bruce



Massimo Carlotto

Costume Designer


Maddalena Calderoni

Artistic Director

Shawna Farrell

Shawna Farrell

Artistic Director BSMT Production

Co-producing Partners

Bernstein School of Musical Theater (BSMT)


Harrison Parrott

United Kingdom

Manifattura Domodossola


Mode Gauken School


Nemo Academy


Sky Arte



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