Oedipus: Sex with Mum was Blinding

new creation
International Premier at BAM Fisher
25-29 September 2019

An immersive opera which mixes traditional performance with cutting-edge technology and emerging neuroscience, the production draws narrative inspiration from Sophocles’ classic tragedy Oedipus Rex. A 2018-2019 Fulbright Artist’s Award recipient and visiting scholar at Stanford University; 2018-19 “Music Theatre Now” international award recipient, Elli creates her own visually striking, lyric adaptation and explores engaging audiences in a new radical way. By using new technologies which turn the audience into the actual chorus of the opera, the piece rediscovers the community at the heart of a political performance, as it was in the ancient times.

Mythology, pop cultural references, and gender reexaminations feed into this unique theatrical mashup, as an all-female acting ensemble of opera singers and jazz vocalists join forces with musical virtuosos (live augmented cello, piano & new instruments) on stage for a deep-dive into a haunting mind game. Partly developed during the director’s stay at the Center for Computer Research in Music & Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University, “OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” also has artists and scientists joining forces on a new neuroscientific case study. The study explores the questions: “Are we free?”, “Dο we experience free will?”, Are there real alternatives, or is all that takes place the outcome of necessity?”. An exploration into Determinism and Self, the answers describe either our majesty or captivity.




Concept, stage direction and libretto: Elli Papakonstantinou
Music composition: Tilemachos Mousas, Julia Kent
Real time cinematic environments: Stephanie Sherriff
Scientific advisor: Professor Manos Tsakiris
Light design: Elli Papakonstantinou
Masks concept, design & materialization: Maritina Keleri & Chrysanthi Avloniti
Costumes: Jolene Richardson

Performers: Nassia Gofa (Jocasta / Chorus), Elias Husiak (Boy, Young Oedipus), Anastasia Katsinavaki (Teiresias / Chorus), Theodora Loukas (Woman), Lito Messini (Oedipus / Chorus), Misha Piatigorsky (MC), Manos Tsakiris (Researcher)
Performers (Athens): Yiannis Askaroglou (Researcher), Nassia Gofa (Jocasta / Chorus), Anastasia Katsinavaki (Teiresias / Chorus), Panagiotis Lekkas (Boy, Young Oedipus), Lito Messini & Amanda Kritsotaki (Oedipus / Chorus),Manos Lidakis (MC), Valia Papachristou (Woman)

Julia Kent (cello), Misha Piatigorsky (piano), Barbara Nerness (live electronics)

Real time video: Hassan Estakhrian, Stephanie Sherriff

Cinematic Environment team
Video production lead: Stephanie Sherriff
Technical developer: Simona Fitcal, Hassan Estakhrian (US)
Video Production Assistant (Greece): Cemre Deniz Kara
Technical Assistant (GR): Lefteris Zimianitis

Executive Producer: Elli Papakonstantinou / ODC Ensemble
General Manager: Leah Michalos
Production Manager: Antonis Peristerakos, Theodora Loukas (US)
Director’s Assistant (US) / Stage Manager: Madelein Whitesell
Director’s Assistant (GR): Anastasia Katsinavaki, Ageliki Karistinou, Vasia Valkanioti​
Publicist: Michelle Tabnick, Bill Coyle
Photography: Karol Jarek, Elias Moraitis, Stelios Papardelas, Carol Rosegg
Videography: Ashleigh McArthur


CCRMA – Stanford (USA), 04.04.2019
BAM Theatre, New York (USA), 
Sfendoni Theatre, Athens (GR),

With the collaboration of
(research collaboration):
CCRMA, Stanford University, USA

Supported by:

With the kind support of the

ID Oedipus by Carol Rosegg
© Selios Papardelas
© Elias Moraitis
© Karol Jarek
© Karol Jarek
© Karol Jarek
© Karol Jarek
© Stelios Papardelas
© Selios Papardelas
© Selios Papardelas
© Selios Papardelas
© Elias Moraitis
© Karol Jarek
© Karol Jarek
© Karol Jarek
© Elias Moraitis


Play Video


How does Science relate to Theatre?

ODC Ensemble’s performances never cease to amaze, as they aim to spectacles causing inner quakes, under the belief that theater forges a survival art. The most interesting feature of their new production is the fact that the show includes experiments from the field of contemporary neuroscience, in which the audience is invited to participate […]

Exiting the Theater!

Papakonstantinou has created a thought-provoking theater work that proved to be pretty entertaining despite the grim subject matter. Left-handedness, sexual preference and gender identity were tossed out to get the audience thinking, but Papakonstantinou struck a nerve when she challenged the American Dream that if a person works hard enough, he or she can attain their every desire. A great theory, but what if the cards are stacked against you from birth? […]

Rick Perdian | Seen and Heard International | September 2019

Not just a deep dive into the myth but into our relationship to the myth in our own lives – that was (to me) who you portray in this gorgeous piece – you are all of us with our therapists trying to find our way through the myth as people today, and I love what Micha did with the audience and our phones and the whole audience as chorus/chaos – brilliant! […]

Emma Goldman Sherman | American Writer | 2019

Elli’s performances are always surprising and subversive. The most interesting feature of the new piece she is now developing is the use of new technologies that ultimately engage the audience as the actual chorus of a new opera piece! […]

Maria Kryou | Athinorama | April 2019

This production might leave you with a feeling of whiplash, trying to process the multitude of what you’ve just seen. Maybe you walk away feeling sad, or inspired, or just confused. But for better or worse, Papapakonstantinou’s Oedipus: Sex With Mum Was Blinding will be on your mind […]

Fimmano  | Plays to See | September 2019

Oedipus: Sex with Mum was Blinding by Elli Papakonstantinou is not a play. It is a nihilist phantasmagoria, inspired by Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, reinterpreted as a compelling, immersive musical event. The music itself is extraordinarily demanding, requiring trained musicians in every case. I enjoyed this production immensely. Every moment is exhilarating and thought-provoking. It’s entertaining and remarkably intelligent, well worth one’s time and attention… […]

Jan Ewing | Ewing Reviewing | September 2019


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