Opera Inside-Out: Reversed Staging for Sensory Immersion

Hedvig Jalhed, Mattias Rylander

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragMuntlig presentation

52 Nedladdningar (Pure)


How can the unseen be heard and imagined through operatic means? In the chamber opera In the Darkness, Everything Went All Black – set in pitch-black darkness – the stage was radically inverted. For the purpose of exploring the immersive potential of spatial reversal, methods for operatic creation and presentation were rethought in terms of visibility, layout, work order, and surveillance. Firstly, the visual default mode of the lit stage was reversed so that total darkness became the foundation for both discreet and shocking light effects. Secondly, the conventional theatrical layout was reversed and the audience was placed in half-circles at the centre of the venue, facing outwards from a void-surrounded by the performance instead of surrounding it. Thirdly, the common operatic work order was reversed so that the set design was workshopped and determined before the libretto and score were written. Fourthly, the relation between audience and ensemble was reversed as the performers observed the audience through IR-cameras while the audience for most of the time was denied visual stimuli and overview. The artistic outcomes of this opera show that negative staging (decreasing sensory information) can effectively contrast positive staging (increasing sensory information) as an artistic tool, highlighting the dynamics of operas as multi-sensory compositions.
Antal sidor5
StatusPublicerad - 2021-maj-28
EvenemangWatershed Music Theatre Community Exchange Sessions - Kingston University, Kingston, Kanada
Varaktighet: 2021-maj-262021-maj-28


KonferensWatershed Music Theatre Community Exchange Sessions

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