Spatial mono opera in the dark
17 April 2015, Friday, 6:00 and 8:00 pm
Column Hall, Trades Union House (V. Mykolaičio-Putino g. 5, Vilnius)
Creators - Spatial Opera Company: Jens Hedman (composer, Sweden), Rūta Vitkauskaitė (composer), Åsa Nordgren (soprano, Sweden)
Sound engineer Vytautas Bastys
Lighting designer Karolis Juknys
Producer Spatial Opera Company
The opera creators group - Jens, Åsa and Rūta met at the 2010 New Music Incubator project in Latvia, and they were united by one goal - to create a spatial opera in the dark, especially expanding the possibilities of the acoustic surroundings. The work was inspired by their interest in spatial electronics, in particular by spatial acoustic sound and its impact on imagination. The Christian idea of the seven deadly sins lies at the basis of the libretto.
The seven parts of the "Confessions" are concerned with the seven cardinal sins - lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride. The intuitive relationship that appeared between the creators from the beginning of the collaboration is transferred to the opera at a musical level. The "Confessions" unites the authors' long-cherished ideas of creative experiments: performing music in the dark, involving other senses (smell, touch) and allegedly completely removing the visual aspect. However in the opera, the latter is really the most activated factor in the listener's imagination - through abstract audio images and concrete pre-recorded sounds that produce strong images linked to feelings, sensations or objects.
An excerpt of the opera "Confessions" was broadcast over London Resonance 104.4fm. In 2012-2014 passages of the work were performed at the concerts of the international summer school in Dartington, at the Norberg and Geiger festivals.
How far can our imagination take us? What images are formed in our consciousness when it is irritated by the outer world? And what are those irritants that produce similar states, sensations or images? And does our imagination really become one collective imagination when we take part in a common event? In order to share and study this phenomenon as well as simply to have a good time, we produced this spatial opera "Confessions".
Rūta Vitkauskaitė, composer
The "Confessions" focuses on other senses than seeing - the essential sense is hearing; much attention is also given to touch and smell.
The opera offers very personal experience: with your eyes covered you feel surrounded by music and caught up in the vortex of events. Music in the true sense of the word smacks you in the face. The performers move in the auditorium, sometimes just an inch or two away from your head.
Have you sinned today?
The conception of a sin changes with time.
Jens Hedman, composer
An opera that relies on the corporation with your imagination. Lean back, close your eyes and take off with us on a journey to the voids inside.
Åsa Nordgren, singer
63' (no intermission).
Instructions for spectators
The spectators will sit blindfolded in the dark (blindfolds will be handed out before the performance). There are three types of seats in the hall. The "passive" ones are for those who are sensitive to physical contact and wish to avoid it. The sensations of those who will choose "active" seats will have them actively provoked. The only special "Pink chair" is free of charge, and the person who will win a competition will get it. The occupant of the seat will experience a set of extreme acoustic surroundings, smells, tastes and touches. Those who wish to get this seat need to make a sincere confession of one sin until 10 April 2015 on firstname.lastname@example.org. The person will be contacted and he/she will have to sign a contract. Other spectators, buying tickets will have the chance to choose the zone ("passive" or "active") where they would like to sit.
There is no age limit but the parents who bring young children should be sure that the children will be able to spend an hour blindfolded, without any contact with their parents.
Project friends, partners and supporters
EMS Elektronmusikstudion (Sweden)
NMI New Music Incubator (Sweden)
International artists' residence DAR of the Lithuanian Composers Union
After the 8:00 pm performance presentation at the Column Hall of the Trades Union House a meeting with the opera creative team will be held. The theatre critic Vlada Kalpokaitė and musicologist Veronika Janatjeva will moderate discussion.