• Main Stage


Showing on January 16–21, 2017

Playing at Vancouver Playhouse

Macbeth, Third World Bunfight, 2017 PuSh Festival
Photo: Nicky Newman

Third World Bunfight (South Africa)

Third World Bunfight brings us a free adaptation of Verdi’s opera—and by free, we mean daring, radical and uninhibited in its transformations. The original work is scaled to more intimate dimensions, with composer Fabrizio Cassol reworking it for a cast of 10 singers and incorporating African musical idioms, particularly percussion. The music retains its powerful force, but comes to us with a new urgency, in a new style. The story is updated as well: Shakespeare’s tale of treachery loses all its historical remoteness and becomes a document of the present, set in the Democratic Republic of Congo and featuring machine guns, mineral mines and a corporate cabal.

These twists on the Bard and the composer bring them into our age of disquiet, boldly recasting their work in a contemporary context. We may know the story, we may know the themes, but we haven’t seen it all brought to life like this: as a detailed sociological portrait, with politics placed above metaphysics. With contemporary costumes, back projection and bold set design this is, at last, a true Macbeth for our times.

Never again can opera be referred to as a European phenomenon… See this production if it’s the only theatre outing you have this year. It’s an unforgettable musical and dramatic experience.

—The Argus

Macbeth, Third World Bunfight, 2017 PuSh Festival
Photo: Morne van Zyl & Brett Bailey

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Artist Bio


Vancouver Playhouse

600 Hamilton Street, Vancouver


January 16, 17, 19–21
100 minutes, no intermission



Starting at $45

Buy tickets via Vancouver Opera
Or call 604.449.6000

PuSh Pass
Eligible on the PuSh Pass ($40 surcharge applies).


In Italian, with English surtitles.
This show is not eligible on the Youth Pass.

Post-show talkback
January 17
Pre-show talks
January 16, 17, 19–21

CREATOR, DESIGNER, DIRECTOR Brett Bailey MUSIC Fabrizio Cassol, adapted from Verdi’s Macbeth CONDUCTOR Premil Petrovic LIGHTING DESIGNER Felice Ross CHOREOGRAPHER Natalie Fisher PRODUCER Barbara Mathers LEAD PERFORMERS Owen Metsileng, Nobulumko Mngxekeza, Otto Maidi CHORUS Sandile Kamle, Jacqueline Manciya, Monde Masimini, Lunga Halam, Bulelani Madondile, Philisa Sibeko, Thomakazi Holland PERCUSSIONISTS Cherilee Adams, Dylan Tabisher WITH MEMBERS OF THE Vancouver Opera Orchestra TECHNICAL MANAGER Miguel Munoz COMPANY MANAGER Catherine Henegan STAGE MANAGER Pule Sethlako AV ENGINEER, TECHNICAL ASSISTANT Carlo Thompson RE-LIGHTER Pauline Mouw SOUND ENGINEER Pierre-Olivier Boulant VIDEO ILLUSTRATOR, ANIMATOR Roger Williams PHOTOGRAPHS Marcus Bleasdale/VII & Cedric Gerbehaye SUBTITLE TEXT Brett Bailey REHEARSAL PIANIST Jose Diaz PROPS Cristina Domenica Salvoldi COSTUME COORDINATOR Penny Simpson ADMINISTRATOR, PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Helena Erasmus VOCAL COACH Albert Combrink COPYIST Stephane Payen INTERNATIONAL PRODUCER Sarah Ford – Quartermaire, Ian Scobie – Arts Project Australia SUPPORTED BY The National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund of South Africa