"Opéra in situ”, the name of our company as well as the title of our documentary, will mix interviews with images of the street opera performance FOREVER21 that we will be creating during the 2017 Rotterdam Opera Days Festival, on May 13th and 14th in the shopping streets of Rotterdam (NL).
“ FOREVER21” is an opera based on Mozart’s “Magic Flute” that we have specially created for shoppings streets all over the world. The show is funny, inspiring and poetic, and creates a moment of shared imagination in a specific street corner, inviting every citizen young and old to gather around a beautiful street opera performance. ”
The documentary will be filmed by the Dutch director Huub Laurens and produced by Opéra in situ.
FILMING "FOREVER21" : A STREET ART OPERA FOR A SHOPPING CENTER
Our first show explores the challenges that come up when talking about opera:
"... Opera, an art form, old, elitist, that no longer interests anyone ..."
We therefore chose one of the most traditional operas in today’s repertoire, Mozart's Magic Flute, aiming to approach it with a conscienceless of “the old” and “the young”, working with two older opera singers and two younger street artists. Far from making a new staging for this opera, we will only use “The Magic Flute” as starting point and as creative material.
“Opéra in situ performs in the street, uses the street to be its set, and allows the surrounding circumstances to become part of the performance. This way of performing radically changes the relationship between audience and performer. This is an exciting way of finding new paths in performing opera.”
“ Elderly street musician Papageno and retired princess Pamina meet in the heart of the city… At one moment, the two characters will meet and find a connection in their longing... ”
In 2017, the two characters from Mozart’s Magic Flute seem to have no place in a shopping street where everything is aimed at being young (and staying young), successful, happy, fit, eating healthy and working out… What happens to “old things” and “old age” in our society nowadays?
“ Elderly street musician Papageno …”
Papageno is a character that we all recognise. He is simple and very human in everything he feels and says. He is always trying to find a girl, which is his goal in life. He is an old street musician, a bit of a hippie - a loser in the eyes of society.
“ Retired princess Pamina…”
Pamina is a serious character who also longs for love, but she is a high class character - a princess in the opera - a success figure in society. Although now retired, she is still always smartly dressed, not at all out of place in a smart shopping street.
“ The musicians will also be actors… ”
A street percussionist and spiritual heir of Papgeno will also be there, and will improvise a “soundscape” around Mozart's music, with recycled objects belonging to the street: plastic containers, iron railings, empty bottles, etc. he is a sort of musical allegory of today’s society.
A pianist “Le Pianiste” will represent the legacy of centuries of “classical music”. Dressed in white tails, he is always carrying his personal red carpet to unfold at every opportunity, like an old “Maestro” he is always fighting with the public for silence and respect for elders…
“ ACH! ICH FÜHL’S…” WE ARE TRULY EXCITED TO FILM THIS MOMENT:
In the opera, the young princess Pamina does not understand why the one she loves remains silent in front of her (he is in fact silent by oath). She then sings the famous aria "Ach, ich fühl's ..." where, as it often happens in opera, emotions reach a depth way greater than the pronounced words.
In our show, Pamina will sit on a bench, the image of a seemingly happy middle-aged woman - successful on the outside, but unhappy and very lonely on the inside. She will start singing softly, and she will be joined by a young woman street dancer who will delicately enhance the performance in the spirit of youth and nostalgia.
DOCUMENTARY : AN OPERA ON SITE
The other aspect of our documentary will be an observation of the "in situ" creation process of FOREVER21. It will also be an opportunity to interview some artists from within the public space art world as well as from the opera itself. Each “in situ” creation maintains a close link with people from all walks of life, and takes the human, urban and architectural context into consideration, making it the starting point of its approach.
Opéra in situ prides itself in exploring new grounds in opera production. Offering more than just open air performances, our company aims to adapt the methodology and philosophy of "in situ" creation to the world of opera and new music theatre.
IF YOU ARE PASSING BY ROTTERDAM …
We will perform “Forever21” on Saturday May 13th from 10am till 6pm and Sunday May 14th from 12 noon till 6pm at “Het Beursplein” in Rotterdam. Please come and say hi !