Florida Festival of New Musicals 23 – 26 August 2018

FFNM_LogoOn behalf of Executive Director, Heather Alexander, and Artistic Director, Roy Alan from The Winter Park Playhouse, Orlando, FL we are delighted to announce that The Stranger from Seville, our musical adapted from the extraordinary novel ‘The Mapmaker’s Opera’ by Béa Gonzalez, has been accepted into the 2018 Florida Festival of New Musicals (23 – 26 Aug.).

Congratulations too go out to our musical theater writer colleagues, shown below, for similarly being selected into the 2018 Festival:




Book by Jeffrey Haddow / Lyrics by Jeffrey Haddow & Thomas Tierney / Music by Thomas Tierney (New York, NY)


Book by Jenny Stafford / Lyrics by Jenny Stafford & Scotty Arnold / Music by Scotty Arnold (Denver, CO)


Book & Lyrics by Bryan D. Leys / Music by Clare Cooper (New York, NY)


Book, Lyrics & Music by Ross D. Martin (Fulton, MD)


Book, Lyrics & Music by Alan Becker (Vashon Island, WA)

A Really Good Explanation – What is Flamenco?


A strange question, you might think. Everyone knows what flamenco is: A rich musical and dance heritage from southern Spain that today enjoys official protection from UNESCO, no less; a powerful art form, instantly identifiable, that attracts and repels with equal force, and that has become the single most emblematic soundtrack to any Hispanic experience. No film, documentary, or television program that has even a passing reference to the Spanish-speaking world is complete without a few notes of flamenco guitar laid over sultry, sunny images, with perhaps a clicking castanet or two thrown in for good measure. No, the usual question posed by those with any interest in the matter is how do you do flamenco? Continue Reading →

And So it is April…

Flamenco PalmasWell, there is much to tell, but I promised that in April and May we would be doing demos of a few of the new songs written for The Stranger from Seville.  And so we are, and they’re in progress

The completely revised and corrected score and script of the show is locked-off and awaiting the NYC Workshop later this year in the Fall.  We know it will take place sometime around the middle of September.

Full details of the workshop with creative and casting information will be posted on this website.

More news on another fabulous opportunity for the show taking place later this year to be announced shortly.  Watch this space!

Take care,


‘The Privilege of being a Writer’ by Béa Gonzalez


Dr_Kevin_PurcellHello. It is a very long time now since August 2008 when Béa Gonzalez wrote the very first blog on the previous website dedicated to our musical theatre adaptation of her extraordinarily beautiful novel, The Mapmaker’s Opera.

The journey that brings us forward now to December 2017 – and this brand new website – reminds all of us involved that we have been on this journey for nearly 10 years. The more extraordinary reality is that this is not an uncommon development time for new Broadway bound musicals. The new website is also timely in that the fully revised version of our theatrical adaptation; now known as The Stranger from Seville, will have its first backers audition workshop in New York in September 2018 directed by Martin Platt.

We have brought a selection of the older blogs from the original website across to this new one; ones that reflect some of the most interesting research and ideas that we accumulated over the initial writing phase of this musical (2011 – 2014) and which culminated in 2014 with a grand-jury selection to participate in the New York Musical Theatre Festival!

It is not at all widely known that up until the New York Musical Festival rehearsals, we had never heard any of the music or book in any type of reading or workshop. It seems crazy now that this was the case but, for writers coming from Australia, this is a unenviable reality as there are no formal systems in place within the industry (if you can call it that) to do readings and workshops as is possible in the USA!

The musical has since gone through significant changes and re-writes, a process that has never been arduous for us in any capacity, but has taken a number of years to work through. This is so, because, since the project’s inception – and Béa’s belief in our efforts – we have never lost that spark of inspirational love we have for her storytelling and belief in the story that it tells.

In April and May 2018, we will do some new music demos of a few of the new songs we have written prior to undertaking our New York workshop. Stay tuned!

Kevin Purcell
Composer | Songwriter
The Stranger from Seville

18 August, 2008 [the first blog written from the original website]

Béa GonzalezIf there is one thing that is truly wonderful about being a writer, it is the many people you meet because of a book you have written and to whom you would have no connection otherwise. Our books become the “slender threads” the Jungian writer and wise man Robert Johnson speaks of, which unite your life with other threads held by people in sometimes disparate corners of the earth.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I heard from my agent that an Australian composer had called to enquire about turning my novel into a music drama. It was all the more surprising given that I had articulated my desire to see such a thing happen when the novel was originally published and was informed that having a book turned into a musical was rare indeed!

I immediately contacted Kevin—delirious with gratitude that he should be interested in such a thing–and a scant few months later we were meeting in Toronto and discussing the project over dinner in a restaurant on Harbord Street with a glass of wine in hand (Australian, of course!) Continue Reading →