Unseal Unseam, At Highways 2017
Photos and video were taken during out October 6th and 7th performance at Highways Performance Space. All photographs were taken by Katie Stenberg. All Video was taken by Dalton Blanco.
Unseal Unseam: An electroacoustic opera
With original composition and sound design by
Sharon Chohi Kim and Micaela Tobin
Libretto by Cordelia Istel
Sharon Chohi Kim and Micaela Tobin as Judith
Lauren Davis, Tany Ling, Kathryn Shuman, as the Wives
Shannon Kennedy, Cello + additional sound design
Lenka Moravkova, The Bohemian Cristal Instrument
Prudence Rees-Lee, Cello + Percussion
Director & Scenographer Shannon Knox
Lighting & Projection design Kerstin Hovland
Assistant Lighting Design Lauren Sego
Stage Manager Susan Kim
Produced by Highways Performance Space
(Artistic Directors Leo Garcia + Patrick Kennelly)
"Hands-up-don't-shoot-horns" sculptural instruments featured in this performance were created by artist Elana Mann:
Elana Mann (b. 1980, Boston, MA) explores voice, sound, politics and form. She has presented her artwork in city parks, museums, galleries, and buses both nationally and internationally. She is a recipient of awards from the California Community Foundation, the Center for Creative Innovation, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Her projects have been covered by Artforum, the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, O Globo, El País, La República and X-Tra Magazine, among others. She received her BFA with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA. Mann lives in South Pasadena with her partner and son.
Unseal Unseam is a retelling of Béla Bartók's classic opera, Bluebeard's Castle, viewed through the eyes of his wife, Judith. In this piece we examine the too-often invisible world of domestic violence in order to hold space for healing and solidarity. Using a combination of extended vocal techniques, noise and electronic music, composer Sharon Chohi Kim and sound artist Micaela Tobin create a lustrous cacophony of amplified objects and operatic singing. Director Shannon Knox and librettist Cordelia Istel reimagine Judith travelling through her own psychological purgatory to reclaim her life. Together, we invite you to witness the intimate rituals of Judith’s transformation.
The libretto was created with the donations of stories from experiences with domestic abuse. We would like to thank the anonymous participants whose beautiful responses gave voice to our Judith.