GR US

Oedipus, New Immersive Opera by Elli Papakonstantinou at BAM Sept. 25-29

The National Herald Archive

A scene from Oedipus: Sex with Mum Was Blinding. Photo by Karol Jarek

NEW YORK – The award-winning international theatre company ODC Ensemble, based in Athens, Greece, with New York City’s The Directors Company present the New York premiere of Oedipus: Sex with Mum Was Blinding, an immersive opera conceived, written and directed by Elli Papakonstantinou with original music composed by Tilemachos Moussas and Julia Kent at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Fisher, 321 Ashland Place in Brooklyn, September 25-29.

The opera features Nassia Gofa, Elias Husiak, Anastasia Katsinavaki, Theodora Loukas, Lito Messini, Manos Tsakiris, Julia Kent (cello), Misha Piatigorsky (piano), Hassan Estakhrian, Barbara Nerness (electroacoustic environments), and Stephanie Sherriff (live cinematic environment).

Lighting design is also Elli Papakonstantinou. Mask concepts, design and materialization are by Maritina Keleri and Chrysanthi Avloniti, and Costume Design by Jolene Richardson. Professor Manos Tsakiris is the Scientific Advisor for the opera.

This immersive opera, which mixes traditional performance with cutting-edge technology and emerging neuroscience, draws narrative inspiration from Sophocles’ classic tragedy Oedipus Rex. Elli Papakonstantinou- a 2018-19 Fulbright Artist’s Award recipient, visiting scholar at Stanford University, and 2018-19 Music Theatre Now international award recipient- creates her own visually striking, lyric adaptation to engage audiences in a new and radical way. Using new technologies which turn the audience into the actual chorus of the opera, the piece rediscovers the community at the heart of a political performance, as it was in ancient times.

Mythology, pop cultural references, and gender reexamination feed into this unique theatrical mash-up, as an all-female acting ensemble of opera singers and jazz vocalists join forces with musical virtuosos—live augmented cello, piano, and new instruments—on stage for a deep-dive into a haunting mind game.

Partly developed during the director’s stay at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University, Oedipus: Sex with Mum Was Blinding also sees artists and scientists joining forces on a new neuroscientific case study. The study asks: Are we free? Dο we experience free will? Are there real alternatives, or is all that takes place the outcome of necessity? An exploration into determinism and self, the answers describe either our majesty or captivity.

The National Herald

Oedipus: Sex with Mum Was Blinding runs September 25-29 at BAM Fisher. Photo by Karol Jarek

Oedipus: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” is supported by the Hellenic Republic, Ministry of Culture and Sports; the Neon Foundation; the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation; ODC Ensemble; CCRMA; and Stanford University.

Running time is 1 hour 40 minutes, no intermission.

More information and tickets are available online: https://www.bam.org and https://elli.site/projects/oedipus-sex-with-mum-was-blinding/.