“Vlad Dracula”: the musical about the prince of darkness arrives in Salerno

Vlad Dracula, the musical disembarks in Salerno. The adaptation of Bram Stoker’s work starring the vampire par excellence as well as one of the main incarnations of evil, will arrive on the stage of the Augusteo theater from 20 to 22 January.

The musical

Dracula has been the protagonist of an endless series of theatrical and cinematographic adaptations as well as an inexhaustible source of further literary works that have made him famous and immortal all over the world.

Vlad Dracula was born, therefore, from the will of Arius Avecone (Murder Ballad, Amalfi 839AD, Rebellion, That’s love!), director and author of the libretto and part of the music, to want to innovate the iconic story of Bram Stoker and to offer him a new perspective.

Avecone, always attentive to researching new forms of theatrical language, has made use of the collaboration of maestro Simone Martino (Rome Opera Musical, Beatrice Cenci, Christmas Carol, St. Michael the Angel of the Apocalypse, The little Mermaid) author of part of the original songs and of Manuela Scotto Pagliara for the literary part and some original songs. The Hollywood-style soundtrack gives a nod to great film music compositions. The original songs elegantly cross many musical genres, from pop to rock, to modern ballads, without ever getting lost in useless virtuosity and letting them, together with the music, always be functional to the story.

The staging curated by Michele Lubrano Lavadera and Ario Avecone and the use of lights by Alessandro Caso are in a post-industrial style and evoke on the one hand the myths of filmography, such as Mad Max, on the other more recent films such as Lo Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes or Crimson Peak.

The attention to the clothes and details, designed by Myriam Somma, are the result of a personal and innovative research, based on the Victorian era but contaminated with advanced technological fabrics and materials.

The work is set in a late 19th century steampunk world, at the dawn of modern industrial development and the exploitation of new energy resources. At the exact moment in which a dangerous countdown that leads up to the present day began for man. The show also wants to be a way to sensitize viewers, making them aware that the time available is less and less. In this race against time, even an immortal character like Dracula becomes vulnerable and finds himself sharing a problem with mankind for the first time.


The whole show is a journey beyond space and time into the dualism of the human soul: good and evil, life and death, science and mystery. In a story where love, passion and music convey the emotions of the spectators. But who is Dracula really? Who represents good and who evil? Are we really sure of our certainties?


The work will certainly appeal to gothic enthusiasts, but it will also wink at thriller lovers, who will gradually find themselves involved in an intrigue full of suspense, where time plays a fundamental role.

Curiosity

Among the protagonists on stage also Salerno George Adam. After a stint as a rock frontman, he obtained important roles in the world of musical theater. Recent work includes his collaboration with Perparrow Entertainment and the Sistina Theater as Simone Zealotas and Judas in the Jesus Christ Superstar European Tour with the great Ted Neeley. He later got the role of Galileo in Queen’s We Will Rock You with Pop Star Anastacia. In 2020 he published the book A School of Fish with Nep Edizioni and at the same time he devoted himself to writing his first solo album. Now, he’s our Vlad Dracula.

The synopsis

A strange fog oppresses a small town in the north of England, in a dense blanket of fear, unexplained deaths and disappearances. Prof Van Helsing, a proud and rational alchemist, seeks a logical explanation to make sense of all these mysteries.

Under observation is the town of Whitby, where the Carfax is located, which has become the home of the mysterious foreign tycoon, Count Vlad Tepes. Shy and irascible character, prince of evil, he is obsessed with the loss of his first wife, Elizabeth. Obligated to eternity, he uses other women to fill that void, but dedicating their existence to a damned and loveless life. Until he casually sees Mina Murray, the reincarnation of his beloved Elizabeth. Vlad is accompanied by the figure of the Countess Justina, played by Chiara Vergassola, a new talent in the Italian musical.

Justina is a character not present in Stoker’s story. She opens and closes the show and is the last of Vlad’s time-forgotten brides. She is a multi-faceted character and her unrequited love fuels her thirst for revenge against the Count. Justina meets the young journalist Jonathan Harker, played by Marco Stabile, who runs the risk of ruining his relationship with his wife Mina Murray due to his desire for success. The ambitious assault journalist arrives at the home of Vlad Tapes, determined to deal with the biggest journalistic scoop of his career, but disappears into thin air and Dr. John Seward and his collaborator Strattford investigate his disappearance.

The story also brings us to know the visionary inventor Renfiel, a man who, in order to achieve his professional dreams as a scientist, moves away from his daughter Lucy Westenra and for this reason falls into loneliness and depression. A man with a dual personality, whose dark soul, shadow and inspiration, is played by Dario Guidi.

Director’s comment

“I have always been fascinated by late nineteenth-century Gothic literature and a lover of authors who wrote about mysteries, unrequited love and death in those years – explained Ario Avecon – I am also a great lover of cinema and directors such as Tim Burton, Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Nolan. The gloomy and melancholic atmospheres of these works prompted me to stage a new story, a new tale based on the well-known epistolary novel by Bram Stoker. From literary research was born the inspiration to create and tell a new story about the world’s most famous vampire: revisited, updated and made into a musical What we tell comes from the restlessness, anger and loneliness that the human soul can feel in such a complex time as the one we are going through. At the basis of those novels and therefore also of our history there is always the eternal dualism between good and evil, which is the soul of the rewriting of the text and of the rewriting already by Vlad Dracula, where each character was treated in detail by both me and Manuela Scotto Pagliara, co-author of the text. The souls of the characters often turn out to be tormented, ambiguous, despite presenting their basic fragility. The great clash between light and shadow is played out on this, where alchemy, science and above all love and passion are the real protagonists. Another major theme that I wanted to address is the relationship between man and time. Its relativity and variability, which makes each of us capable of expanding the good moments and tightening the bad ones, and vice versa. A way to perhaps exorcise the impossibility we have of really slowing it down. My hope is not so much to provide answers – concluded the director – but rather to raise questions among the spectators. The best way to make a contemporary work food for thought, but also a moment of fun and pure entertainment”.

“Vlad Dracula”: the musical about the prince of darkness arrives in Salerno