new creation at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp Memorial Commissioned by the Festival der Regionen 2019 Austria and La Strada Festival, Austria It is a mysterious thing, this process of creating a new work. Curious to the dark, committed to translating what is not yet there, all along the process of rehearsing with no certainty of …
Oedipus: Sex with Mum was Blinding is a hybrid opera libretto and direction by Elli Papakonstantinou, music composion by Julia Kent and Tilemachos Mousas. The piece draws from cognitive science and the myth of “Oedipus Rex” and was developed during the director’s visit at CCRMA. Originally designed for a cast of seven, this is an abbreviated version featuring a mix of live actors that are folded into an array of surreal cinematic environments. Through a series of scientific experiments, audience engagement plays an essential role in the execution of the piece. Atonal, electroacoustic compositions weave throughout the opera while Grammy nominee, Julia Kent, performs cello on stage in a constant stream of visuals and live action. A full production of the piece will take place in Athens at the Old National Opera House in September 2019 with the participation of cognitive scientists from the Warburg Institute, University of London.
Expected premiere: 4th April 2019, Stanford University, USA
A new opera for four voices, santoor, piano & live electronics. Conceived and directed by Elli Papakonstantinou, this international co-production investigates parallels between today’s virtual reality world, fake news and Plato’s allegory of the Cave.
The Cave is a cyber punk opera on a popular theme Matrix. An oratorical opera in the intersection between opera, cinema and new technologies, this radical performance calls for critical reflection on fake news and post truth. It’s a contemporary reinterpretation of Plato’s famous “Cave” allegory. Shadow puppetry, new media, visuals and music are all performed in real time by a cast of four. Nothing is ever still. The Cave challenges the boundaries of contemporary opera, drawing from a variety of music genres. In the intersection of reality and fantasy, material & immaterial, with an emphasis on the exploration of self-truth. The staged transcription of the philosophical text is interwoven with intertextual adds – Buddhist sutras, hyperrealistic conversations etc.- and pinholes onto today’s world. Socrates is a robot’s voice and this sarcasm runs through out the piece. while mythological creatures pass as shadows of another world all too close to ours; In Plato’s allegory people are chained in a cave and they are facing the inside of the cave whereupon they see the shadows of the outside world. In so doing, they interpret “reality” through this optic of the shadows. The cave brings out how the two-dimensional vision of the three-dimensional life translates in today’s realities in misconceptions that we may have regarding what’s going on as for example in the domains of politics, of society and of course ethics.
Sous l’oiel d’ Oedipe (Under the Eye of Oedipus), from the french director and playwright Joël Jouanneau, an ironic title given that his Oedipus blinds himself with a razor (onstage) just 20 minutes into this three-hour play. Jouanneau borrows from Sophocles and Euripides for his fairly straightforward retelling of the history of Oedipus. Jouanneau’s original contribution to the well-worn tale is a very sympathetic portrait of Oedipus, who comes to regret his eye-gouging.
Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck performed by a reduced international cast of five; they form a post -punk band with an operatic approach in original music score inspired by Alban Berg’s ‘Wozzeck’ to challenge the idea of the European Union. Texts in performance: Georg Büchner’s ‘Woyzeck’, a speech on ‘Economy of the housekeeping’ by Angela Merkel, Georg Büchner’s ‘The messenger of Hessen’ (Der Hessische Landbote) etc.
This is the first show of the company ODC Ensemble
“I began researching the Odyssey back in 2002. The first phase of my research (2002-2004) resulted in a series of performances presented in Greece and abroad, each of them featuring a different cast and crew. The common denominator in all these performances was the development of a contemporary rhapsodic method.
I focused on the Odyssey because I was intrigued by the fluidity and diversity of the Homeric epics and especially by the fact that in reality there is no ‘original’ text. In effect, we are talking about different versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey and more specifically about each rhapsodist trying a different take on the Iliad and the Odyssey, improvising in situ before a live audience and introducing variations even on the verses themselves.
This ‘open’ dramaturgy opens a channel to the present. Far from distancing herself from the story she tells, the narrator finds herself within two overlapping circles: the real circle of the audience, and the fictional circle of the story.
This largely improvisational performance was built upon the interplay of three bodies of work: The Odyssey, musical improvisation, and the narrator’s free association. The director spins an ad hoc dramaturgy the ‘seams’ of which are visible to the audience; the audience can then choose the Book of Odyssey they want to listen to while having dinner. This project is open to the idea of Randomness: the interplay of words and musical notes; the flow of commentary through free association; songs.
Music and speech are woven together in a single narrative. The performer’s body vibrates, pushed to unprecedented directions, forced to maximise the smallest structural unit of language—word, syllable, phoneme—going against the flow of rhythm, eschewing the production of meaning for what is left unspoken.”
[Extracts from the director’s note]
Nine Lives Ten Tales by Lil Warren. A new play about the life of a woman in the East End of London, directed by Elli Papakonstantinou. Performed at the Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), London, the Edinburgh Festival and other London venues including, The King’s Head, The Studio Theatre (Surrey) and The Knives and Hens.
Choice of the Festival | The Scotsman
Critic’s Choice | The Evening Standard