“This Opera is the tip of the iceberg of the new international wave of politically conscious art music that we have seen little of to date on the large Swedish concert stages, but which is finding alternative spaces such as Bastionen in Malmö.”
“Fragments of the manifesto become flesh and blood– yes, even a uterus that the costume designer Åsa Gjerstad has drawn on the singer’s underwear. Helena Röhr’s direction allows Pfeiffer to play with body language in an exposé of submissive female roles and macho poses. Prerecorded recitation of the texts alternate with the voice part in a musical power struggle between frenetic fingering on strings and Solanas’ furious settling of scores with the cult of the male genius. She lustily rips apart the pages of a musical score and proclaims that everything a man touches ”turns to shit”.”
The chamber opera Valerie’s voice, by Christofer Elgh, is staged in Germany in a collaboration between Stadttheater Gießen and Hochschule für Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt. The opera has previously been performed in Copenhagen, Malmö and Stockholm and received a lot of attention.
Valerie’s voice is based on Valerie Solana’s SCUM manifesto. The opera form is open, flexible and written for soprano, four electric guitars and electronics. The unusual form and cast means that the work can be completely changed depending on the dramaturgy and stage direction. It is unusual for a newly written opera to be staged several times after its first premiere. The music in Valerie’s voice bridges different musical worlds and creates something new and relevant for the audience of our time.
Ann-Christine Mecke, artistic director of the Opera at the Stadttheater Gießen, became interested in the opera when she saw an earlier documentation from the performances in Sweden. In the new production at the Musiktheater Gießen, previously unperformed parts will be performed with a new dramaturgy in collaboration with the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt.
The set premieres on January 20 at Musiktheater Gießen and is played on five occasions during January and February.
Musical direction Günther Albers, Nemanja Lukic
Directed by Francesco Rescio
Stage and costume Maik Wendrich
Dramaturgy Ann-Christine Mecke
Composer Christofer Elgh
Musicologist Theresa Bub
Daddies Girl Ani Aghajanyan, Daria Tymoshenko
Extra Glenn Buchholtz
Guitarists Yeojin Jang, Henry Hardt, Axel Rohmer, Javier Cuenca, Steffen Ahrens and Christopher Brandt.
Reviews in Swedish
Expressen: Operan går till storms mot patriarkatet
The tip of the iceberg of politically conscious art music
2018-07-25 Satirtext blev opera
All photos: Ulrica Loeb
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