We are excited to announce the second installment of Infinite Opera’s operatic trilogy ‘Besse’ we are hosting at our brewery and taproom throughout March, April and May.
‘Besse lives in medieval England on the cusp of social change. She is in love with beer and the independence it affords her as she follows in the footsteps and traditions of the brewing goddesses and brewsters of the Sumerian civilization over 5000 years before her.
The year is 1348 AD and England is a changing land. If Besse does not act fast the power of beer will soon be taken from her. Against the backdrop of the Black Death and tortured by accusations of witchcraft she must navigate her way through the difficult and dangerous world that surrounds her to practice the art of fermentation to its greatest heights.
Each opera forms part of a trilogy telling the dramatic and emotional story of Besse’s devotion to the art of beer making and her fight for freedom.’
Part II – Rye – Showing @ Dig Brew Friday 12th April @ 8pm Part III – Hops – Showing @ Dig Brew Friday 10th May @ 8pm
Water ‘Everything is running smoothly at Besse’s inn until the beer runs out. As the pressure and atmosphere heat up Besse starts to make deadly choices that will change her world forever.’
Rye With knowledge of the rising patriachy Besse takes actions to regain power of her beer. However, in a storm of accusations her actions take force beyond her control.
Brewing is an industry that has almost entirely been served by women for the last 6000 years – it has only been in the modern era that it has become mainly the business of men.
Each show has a ‘previously on Besse’ section at the beginning so it very easy for newcomer’s tp understand the story. The script is in English with subtitles in English to aid the storytelling.
For each instalment Dig Brew will collaborate with Infinite Opera to make a limited edition beer that will be canned and be included within the price of the ticket. For part I the beer was called ‘Hathor’s Revenge’ – it is a Sour Red Fruit Berliner Weisse and will be used as a prop in the opera as well as on sale at the bar.
For part II the beer will be called ‘Maleficarum’ – it is an IPA brewed using a type of malt that has been returned to use from medieval times. Maleficarum was a directory used to determine whether an accused woman was in fact guilty of being a witch.
Tickets to each show including the specific limited edition beer cost £10. Tickets without beer and consession prices are available.
Part I – Hathor’s Revenge – Sour Red Fruit Berliner Weisse – 3.8% Part II – Maleficarum – IPA brewed using the oldest variety of malt available in the UK – 6.0% Part III – Dark Abbess – Black Forest Stout with cherries and dark chocolate – 6.8%
Trivia: Brewing is an industry that has almost entirely been served by women for the last 6000 years – it has only been in the modern era that it has become mainly the business of men. This change happened in late medieval times in England when it was realised that brewing could be professionalised and money could be made. The women that brewed at the time did so for the entire community as it was safer to drink the beer than the water. The female brewers wore tall black hats and carried or installed ‘broom sticks above their houses to advertise they had beer for sale.
The smear campaign against these women is what has lead to our Understanding of the witch today – they were said to council the devil for their recipes, the fermentation became the magic, the tall hats became black and pointy ones we know now, the broomsticks started to fly and the kettle became a cauldron.
Price: £10 (£7 student + < 25 years) includes entry to Opera, limited edition collaborative beer, entrance to after party at Dig Brew with DJ Roman Candles.
Guests below 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult and are not eligible for ticket including beer.
Dig Brew is a craft brewery located in Digbeth, Birmingham making an always changing range of seasonal beers including, lagers, stouts, sours and pale ales. Dig Brew also plays host to a pizzeria inside the bar within their brewery building as well as organising a programme of one off food, drink, music and art based events. www.instagram.com/digbrewco
Infinite Opera Co is a Birmingham based opera troupe, creating new works to explain and describe the wonders of our universe through the art form of opera. They are currently in residence at Grand Union Studios, Digbeth. www.infiniteopera.com
Grand Union is an internationally renowned gallery based in Digbeth, Birmingham that supports and presents innovative artistic and curatorial practice. www.grand-union.org.uk