SHE MUST DIE is a classical-contemporary cabaret with 3M overhead projector.
Soprano Brittany Loewen’s “controlled and powerful voice”* propels feeling through sound; while the folk-pop duo Laura Dern steadies the brimming emotion with songs about disappearing and forever. Ary Marvray creates dreamy scenes with analog overhead projector. And a small ensemble of piano and cello reinforce the sonic terrain.
The arias, from the operas La Gioconda, Madama Butterfly, Otello, and Suor Angelica, lay the foundation for SHE MUST DIE, as at the end of each aria, the soprano dies, and dies again, over and over. The band Laura Dern, comprised of guitarist-vocalist Cydney Asher and vocalist Dylan Bandy, compliment Loewen’s powerful sound with a soft, vulnerable intertwining of voices and unsettling harmonies. SHE MUST DIE attempts to reconcile each death—each tawdry demise—with something overwhelming: an immersive internal landscape.
SHE MUST DIE was developed in reaction to the misogyny inherent in the plots of many operas. This production re-envisions the operatic death as a jumping-off point for a larger discussion about gendered experience. The work comments on body politics, romantic iconography, and moral necessity.
Director: Dylan Bandy Producer: Brittany Loewen Photos: Sara Benton
*Perform Ink Chicago
EXPOSURE BERLIN is a site-specific piece of contemporary musiktheater created for the Ehemaliges Stummfilmkino Delphi, a restored 1920s silent film cinema in Berlin.
EXPOSURE BERLIN references The Breasts of Tiresias by Apollinaire, minimalist opera, various works by David Lynch, and German Expressionist Film. It performed in October 2012.
Nooks and crannies of the Hebbel am Ufer Theater are transformed from unassuming utility spaces into intimate lounge areas, each with a phone. Singers are trapped in enclosed spaces, behind windows, in closets, awaiting the rush of calls between main-stage performances.
We are the desperate attempt to pull focus; we are the small symbiotic creature on the back of the institution. Singers and audience are both visible to passersby, but not to each other. It is voyeurism and spectacle. It is phone sex with live songs. This piece played and won the HAU 100º Festival in 2011.
DIE VERLORENEN or THE LOST, by film artist Reynold Reynolds, is based on found material. Reynolds discovered, remade and completed the film between 2011-2013, both as a short narrative film (Die Verlorenen) and a multi-screen film installation (The Lost). Shot on 16mm.
“During the year 1933 in Germany film productions were shut down, censorship was imposed, thousands of actors were fired and hundreds of films were destroyed. Die Verlorenen revives a German film from the 1930s that could have been, but never was.”
Told through the eyes of a young English writer who comes to Berlin, the film is based around an artist flat. The heart of this community of misfits is a cabaret stage, recreated in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt.
Excerpted (above) is a clip from the silent film.
The Lost (excerpt)
BOHEME IN A BAR
Boheme In A Bar is the opera La Boheme staged in a bar, with concept and direction by Dylan Bandy and performances by Ryan Center & Chicago Opera Theater Young Artist singers.
The immersive staging allows for direct contact with the singers and 360º of sound, making the Romantic opera more of a chamber work. Immediate is the lush sonic atmosphere of the swirling marketplace, then the sparse, dank apartment of two broke artists. Sung in the original Italian, with clowns for interpretation, this production was praised for its emotional truth, approachability, and very fine singing.
April 2014 at Act One Pub | Mayne Stage in Chicago, IL
Dir. Dylan Bandy Music Dir. by Sarah Jenks Production /kor/ Productions