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ZOO Antwerp presents OBAIA, a musical for Spring 2022

Image from ZOO Antwerp.

A new musical presented by ZOO Antwerp is coming to the Queen Elizabeth Hall in Spring of 2022.

Tickets for the musical OBAIA are on sale now and each one includes a visit to the zoo.

“Musical OBAIA is an ode to nature. In the past coronavirus period, we discovered together how important it is for our well-being. We want people to fall in love again with the beauty of Mother Earth,” said producer Anja Stas.

Stas says that music has been in the zoo’s DNA for centuries.

In 2018, for their 175th anniversary, hundreds of volunteers came together to create ‘ZOO of life,’ a musical that featured a love story involving a zookeeper with family ties to an okapi reserve in the Congo.

“Back then we showed the story of life in the zoo, but now we want to connect people with our vision and values,” said Stas.

In the coming musical, Obaia is Mother Earth’s fifth child, and also a bit of the odd-one-out. Her siblings are Water, Earth, Fire and Air, and they each have an animal companion, or avatar: a fish, an elephant, a lion and a crane.

The animals have no speaking parts, but are interpreted by professional dancers.

Instead of an animal companion, Obaia has a book of knowledge.

“Only when Obaia detaches herself from her book wisdom and sets out to explore and experience the world of elements and animals in all its glory, does she come into balance and insight,” the ZOO said in a press release.

“But greed lurks around the corner, endangering the animals and nature. It’s not too late, so long as Obaia reaches her destination in time to save Mother Earth, together with her brothers and sisters…”

The team behind the musical includes producer Anja Stas and creative leader Luc Stevens, who is also responsible for directing.

“It is a total experience in which an inspiring story comes to life with heavenly music, singing and dancing in a magical setting,” the ZOO said.

Allard Blom wrote the script and composer Pol Vanfleteren wrote the music, to which choreographer Elias Lazaridis directs the dancers. The set, costumes and props were created by Joris van Veldhoven, while the wigs and make-up were created by Harold Mertens and Wouter Somers.

The cast is as follows:

Elke Buyle
Pieter Casteleyn
Pieter Jan De Paepe
Goele De Raedt
Isabelle Heremans
Wanda Joosten
Brent Pannier
Laura Seys
Lotte Stevens
Joke Van Robbroeck

The operational team includes executive producer Dirk Van De Catsyne and technical coordinator David Smeets. It is a co-production with Perpodium, with financial support from the Belgian Federal Government via Cronos Invest, a tax shelter intermediary for performing arts.