Bushra El-Turk's multimedia opera, inspired by the seminal 1975 novel by Nawal El Saadawi, is presented in London in a poignant encore to this year’s Festival.

Following the story by Egyptian writer and feminist Nawal El Saadawi, Woman at Point Zero is a story of two women: Fatma, an activist imprisoned for manslaughter, and Sama, an ambitious documentary filmmaker.

They share their memories, experiences and secrets – moving from distrust to curiosity, solidarity and finally friendship, the story unfolding over one day.

From this universal story, four women artists – composer Bushra El-Turk, director Laila Soliman, writer Stacy Hardy and scenographer and film designer Bissane Al Charif – create a multimedia opera, reinventing the form and its language. Conducted by Kanako Abe, the music blends traditions and is performed on a mix of ancient folk instruments by musicians from all over the world.

UK premiere.

Photograph Jean Louis Fernandez

Bushra El-Turk composer
Stacy Hardy libretto
Laila Soliman director
Loes Schakenbos lighting designer
Eli Verkeyn costumer designer
Bissane Al Charif and Julia König scenography and video design
Aida Elkashef documentary audio fragments

Sung in English and Arabic with English surtitles.

Co-presented as part of the Aldeburgh Festival and Shubbak Festival 2023

Generously supported by Tina Taylor

A LOD production. Co-Production All Aria's festival (deSingel Antwerpen, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen, Concertgebouw Brugge & Transparant), Royal Opera House London, Shubbak, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Britten Pears Arts & Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg) with the support ofenoa (European Network of Opera Academies) and Creative Europe programme of the European Union, British Council, PRS Foundation, FEDORA, AFAC (The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture), and la mesure tax shelter du gouvernement fédéral belge.

Compelling music from unfamiliar sources, as Arab voices thrill
4 Stars