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The Directors Company Heads to BAM Fisher for the NYC Premiere of a New Opera by Fulbright Artist’s Award Recipient Elli Papakonstantinou
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:22 pm EDT 08/22/19

“One of the best representatives of Greek avant-garde,
Elli Papakonstantinou never seizes to surprise us.”
- ATHINORAMA, Maria Kryou

THE DIRECTORS COMPANY’S DIRECTORS STUDIO
HEADS TO THE BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC: BAM FISHER
PRESENTING
THE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF

OEDIPUS:
Sex with Mum Was Blinding

AN IMMERSIVE OPERA

CONCEIVED, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
2018-19 FULBRIGHT ARTIST’S AWARD RECIPIENT
ELLI PAPAPAKONSTANTINOU

A CO-PRODUCTION WITH
ODC ENSEMBLE (ATHENS, GREECE)

ORIGINAL MUSIC COMPOSED BY
TILEMACHOS MOUSSAS AND JULIA KENT

CINEMATIC ENVIRONMENTS BY STEPHANIE SHERRIFF

FEATURING
NASSIA GOFA, ANASTASIA KATSINAVAKI, THEODORA LOUKAS, LITO MESSINI,
JULIA KENT (CELLO), MISHA PIATIGORSKY (PIANO)

STRICTLY-LIMITED ENGAGEMENT
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25- SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 ONLY

AT BAM FISHER (321 ASHLAND PLACE, BROOKLYN, NY)

OPENS WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 AT 7:30 PM

The Directors Company’s Directors Studio, proudly joins forces with award-winning international theatre company ODC Ensemble (Athens, Greece) for the New York premiere of the immersive cinematic opera “OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding.” Conceived, written and directed by 2018-19 Fulbright Artist’s Award recipient Elli Papakonstantinou, “OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” has original music composed by Tilemachos Moussas and Julia Kent performed live into an array of surreal cinematic environments created by Stephanie Sherriff. “OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” will play a strictly limited engagement at BAM Fisher (Fishman Space), located at 321 Ashland Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217, beginning Wednesday, September 25th through Sunday, September 29th, 2019. The Opening is Wednesday, September 25th at 7:30 pm. Tickets to “OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” are priced at $30 and are now available online at https://www.bam.org/oedipus.

An immersive opera which mixes traditional performance with cutting-edge technology and emerging neuroscience, the production draws narrative inspiration from Sophocles’ classic tragedy Oedipus Rex. A 2018-19 Fulbright Artist’s Award recipient and visiting scholar at Stanford University, and a 2018-19 “Music Theatre Now” international award recipient, Elli Papakonstantinou has created a visually striking, lyric adaptation which explores engaging audiences in a new radical way. By 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 the ancient times.

Mythology, pop cultural references, and gender reexaminations feed into this unique theatrical mashup, as an all-female acting ensemble of opera singers and jazz vocalists join forces with musical virtuosos (live augmented cello, piano & 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 & Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University, “OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” also has artists and scientists joining forces on a new neuroscientific case study. The study explores the questions: “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 advisor to the project is Professor Manos Tsakiris, Professor of Psychology, University of London (manostsakiris.com).

“OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” premiered at CCRMA, Stanford University on April 4, 2019, produced by ODC Ensemble. The limited engagement at BAM Fisher is the beginning of an international tour. The next staging will take place in Athens, Greece later this fall, with the participation of cognitive scientists from The Warburg Institute, University of London.

The all-female cast of “OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” at BAM Fisher (Fishman Space) includes Nasia Gofa, Anastasia Katsinavaki, Theodora Loukas, Lito Messini and musicians Julia Kent (cello) and Misha Piatigorsky (piano). Additional casting TBA.

Electroacoustic environments are provided by Hassan Estakrian and Barbara Nerness.

THE DIRECTORS COMPANY (Producer: Leah Michalos, Producing Director; Michael Parva, Artistic Director) is an award-winning, not-for-profit theatre company with a mission to develop and produce groundbreaking new plays and musicals. Among the works TDC has developed and produced: Irena’s Vow, by Dan Gordon, starring Tovah Feldshuh, directed by Michael Parva, which received an extended Off-Broadway run before transferring to the Walter Kerr Theater on Broadway, where it was honored with an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding New Broadway Play. Other recent Off-Broadway productions include the New York premiere of Terms of Endearment with Molly Ringwald, the world premieres of The Violin by Dan McCormick, The Road to Damascus by Tom Dulack On a Stool at the End of the Bar by Robert Callely and Almost Home by Walter Anderson, Jericho and Poetic License by Jack Canfora, and Murder in the First by Dan Gordon, directed by Michael Parva. Additional major productions developed or produced by TDC: Bat Boy: The Musical, with music by Larson Award-winner Laurence O’Keefe (Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best New Musical); The Milliner by Suzanne Glass; The Passion of Frida Kahlo, featuring Tony Award-winning actress Priscilla Lopez; Kilt by Jonathan Wilson (GLAAD Media Award nomination); AVOW by award-winning playwright Bill C. Davis; Tony Phelan and Joan Rater’s Good Will, which was optioned for a major motion picture; Bad Girls, adapted by award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates from her own short story; The Ballad of Little Jo (Richard Rodgers Award and a Kleban Award for Sarah Schlesinger’s libretto); Drifting Elegant by Stephen Belber (first ever Development Grant awarded by The Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays); and Once Upon a Time in New Jersey, a Richard Rodgers and Kleban Lyricist Award-winning musical by Susan DiLallo and Stephen Weiner. Visit www.directorscompany.org.

ODC ENSEMBLE (Producer). ODC (Odyssey) Ensemble, established by theatre director Elli Papakonstantinou, is an award-winning theatre company based in Athens, Greece. ODC creates multidisciplinary performances that empower critical thinking with an emphasis on cutting edge music, new media and political discourse. ODC Ensemble have been based in a 3.000 sq.m. cultural space in Athens called “Vyrsopdeseio”, which they founded in 2011. The company’s works include: ODC after Homer (2002), Viciousness in the kitchen (2010), Μετά/After (2011), Woyzeck Quartet (2012), Skin (2012), Richard II (2014), REVOLT ATHENΣ (2015), Luisette: the Backstage of Revolution (2017), Τhe Cave (2018), Każin Barokk (2018), The Kindly Ones (2019) all directed by Elli Papakonstantinou. Among recent artistic achievements, the company has been nominated winner of the Music Theater Now 2018 International competition and has been awarded with a First Award Prize at the BE Festival for the REP 2017, Birmingham, UK, First Prize Award at the Edinburgh Festival, UK and more. The company has been supported by The Greek Ministry of Culture, the Arts Council of Great Britain of Denmark and of Sweden and has toured internationally. Visit https://elli.site/odc-ensemble/.

“OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” will be performed at BAM Fisher (Fishman Space), located at 321 Ashland Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217. The performance schedule is Wednesday, September 25th through Saturday, September 28th at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, September 29th at 3:00 pm. The Opening is Wednesday, September 25th at 7:30 pm.

Tickets to “OEDIPUS: Sex with Mum Was Blinding” are priced at $30 and are available now online at https://www.bam.org/oedipus.

This event is presented by The Directors Company and ODC Ensemble. BAM house and ticketing policies may not apply. BAM Membership benefits do not apply.

FOR MORE INFO:
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/332280452
Official Page: https://elli.site/projects/oedipus-sex-with-mum-was-blinding/
CCRMA Page: https://ccrma.stanford.edu/events/oedipus-sex-with-mum-was-blinding

“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; the Fulbright Foundation, ODC Ensemble; CCRMA; Stanford University; BIAS and the School of Advanced Studies, University of London.
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