Façons tragiques de tuer une femme / Tragic Ways of Killing a Woman
A chamber opera in one act
Based on an original idea of Richard Dubelski and Diana Soh
Tragic Ways of Killing a Woman is a project that explores systemic violence in a domestic setting focusing on the inescapability of our mundane everyday lives and the wounds it engenders. It pays homage to the heritage and source of feminine survival.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
A couple, a new house, and what seems to be a new beginning. But within the walls, things that have been hidden over the years are ready to surface... Invisible mental burdens, systemic violence or domestic abuse, murder or suicide, there are - concretely or metaphorically - many tragic ways to kill a woman.
Inspired by the book Façons Tragiques de Tuer une Femme by Nicole Loraux, the project explores the way that women die privately, out of sight, inside their houses and deprived of public posterity.
In this original musical project, the orchestra is reduced to only amplified objects on stage. These stage props are manipulated by the actors/singers and thus their every movement has sonic consequences and are intrinsic to the storytelling as well. Hence the whole mise-en-scene is the orchestra itself and the actors/singers on stage then also functions as the musicians and conductors of this orchestra. With the help of an offstage vocal ensemble, the musical premise of this opera allows the audiences to be privy to the thoughts of the protagonists on stage, while setting it against their actual actions and text.
In reality, there are times when our thoughts and actions diverge and in this project, we aim to create an ecosystem where what is seen, heard and felt are intertwined but not always moving in the same direction.
The sound diffusion system (WaveField Synthesis) chosen for this project is especially selected to emphasise the multiplicities and various levels of dramaturgy present in this production.
3 female singers (2x soprano, 1x mezzo-soprano)
2 actors / percussionists (with spoken parts)
vocal ensemble (6 voices)
*domestic objects like cups, pots and pans, blenders, knifes are used not only as props but actual music-makers)
**The Diffusion system is a 48 speakers Wave Field Synthesis set up.
Singaporean composer Diana Soh is one of today’s most exciting and sought after young artists. A multi-disciplinary composer whose diverse musical output “is imprinted in our minds and places us in front of something human, personal, that does not leave [one] indifferent“
Sabryna Pierre is a playwright and librettist whose work revolves mainly around the gap between public image and private life (Unity Walkyrie, STE, Personal Jesus) , the construction of contemporary myths and collective fictions (Incroyable, Icon, L'inconnue de la Seine) and the relationship between historical events and their narratives (Mayerling).
Lisenka Heijboer Castañón is a stage director and theatre maker who through her work investigates radical ways of collaboration in order to find new narratives and create more shared ownership amongst team and cast. Her work has been hailed as “an important contribution to the renewal of the genre of musical theatre: away from the museum right into the middle of social actuality”
Richard Dubelski is a well known figure in the French contemporary music-theatre scene. The original impetus and inspiration for Soh’s object-orchestra-opera, he will lend his unique skills as actor/percussionist in this production.
Laura Bowler is a triple threat composer-performer-provocatrice from the UK and offers her unique voice and physical theatre talent to this production.
Elise Chauvin is known as the go-to soprano/actress for the contemporary composers of the Parisian music scene and brings to this production her penchant for rhythmic scores and vocal pryotechniques.
Julie Mathevet, hailed as a “lyrical miracle” by the American press, this French coloratura soprano navigates with ease wide-ranging projects from contemporary to pop to the great classics in major European opera houses.
NOMINATED FOR THE FEDORA PRIZE
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