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Opera to the People

In Collaboration with
Maria Magdalena Kozlowska
Co-production with
Fonds Podiumkunsten |.Belluard Bollwerk, Fribourg | Gessnerallee, Zurich | Over het Ij Festival, Amsterdam | Montage Modus, Berlin | Kunstbrucke am Wildenbruch, Berlin
Opera to the People is an attempt to renegotiate the temporality, scale, proximity, and accessibility of operatic spectacle. In collaboration with bodies of water, we create a contemporary musical piece, accessible to everyone. We want to challenge the classist nature of opera as an institution and point out the political potential of opera as a form. The operatic voice is powerful. It can be heard even by those who didn't ask for it.
We believe that public space is a stage not less than the one in a theatre or the opera. It reflects the socioeconomic, political, and artistic phenomena in its architecture, traffic, and even in its map. We study its potential and apply it to create spaces for new encounters. The presence of classical singing voices in public space shifts the power dynamics, introduced by the status of opera, perceived as an experience of “high culture”.
The water concert redefines the position of the spectator, as it moves in space, giving agency to the audience. People can follow the singers, walk along their route, then let the concert pass them. The water collaborates as an amplifier and a resonator.
The sculptural costume is open to different inhabitants, it emancipates itself too. Its presence points to operatic grandiosity. The contract between all agents - the performer, the audience, the costume, and the city - is uncertain. By constantly transforming, it initiates new, liquid relationships.
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