Prize for Opera
Private View © Koen Broos i
Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 Rear Window, Private View is about seducing the audience into the illusion that they will slowly but surely be presented with a true cause of events. Throughout this opera, Belgian composer Annelies Van Parys aims to explore the power of the imagination in relation to what is projected, as well as breaking down the idea of a «safe distance». Music, live singers and video images by 33 ⅓ Collective of artists, all together create an atmosphere of paranoia and strangeness, blending tension and humor; playing on the audience’s imaginations to excite, on their intellects to reason, raising suspicions about what is perceived.
The action takes place there where fiction and the real world meet: an outdoor movie set. A woman screams; a shot is fired; victim falls down. As the director is not satisfied, the scene is taken and retaken until the actor/victim is killed by a real bullet. Panic ensues; the focus is directed towards finding culprits and motives.
Key word: Visualization. Private View is not your normal musical theatre production. It is only normal in the sense that it aims to put the audience on the other foot - fascinated and amused. Singers sing about emotions and motives, emphasizing melodic lines, counter points and leitmotivs, but they aren’t real protagonists - a deliberate intervention. Private View deviates from the norm in that the narrative is solely conveyed through video projections.
In this set up the singers are «neutralized» into «operators». Pulling a string and their white robes become (assembled) projections screens. 2 operators standing back to back, turning full circle, show the paradox of a (musical) motive, an object, person or situation; serving as footnotes of the large screens.
As decoration or enhancement of what is happening on stage (live camera, enlarged facial expressions) the integration of video projections in musical productions is not uncommon. But never are these images the driving force explaining a performance’s development. In this sense Private View principally differs from what an audience is used to.
Annelies Van Parys, Composer
Jen Hadfield, Librettist
Tom Creed, Stage Director and Dramaturgy
Matthijs Huisman, Video Artist from 33 ⅓ Collective
Jules Van Hulst, Video Artist from 33 ⅓ Collective
Douwe Dijkstra, Video Artist from 33 ⅓ Collective
Annik Laruelle, Production
Peter Quasters, Lighting and technics
Singers from Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart
Musicians from Asko|Schönberg Ensemble
National Opera Bergen
Deutsche Oper Berlin
Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg
Opera Ballet Vlaanderen