»FIVE FATHOMS DEEP MY FATHER LIES«
(Act 1: Scene II: Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Friday, 20. June 2008 at midnight
swimming pool, Faculty of Sport
Gortanova 22, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Entrance fee: 8€ (EUR)
Five Fathoms Deep My Father Lies is a multi-site underwater opera staged across the globe in private bathrooms, water tanks, swimming pools and ocean grottos. The opera takes shape around the material tension between water and air to explore the old lure of sirens and shipwrecks alongside the urgent ecological specters of drought and drowned cities.
The first work in which a vocalist sings directly into water, Snapper merges extended techniques with Baroque naturalist tropes, and cautionary Wagnerian arias (Erda, Kundry). Each performance closes with a double chorus of local voices lured from the audience to the water; a chorus of lover suicides enacting evolution in rapturous reverse.
The audience gathers around a long indoor pool, lit from below. Snapper enters and approaches the water on her belly, stopping to sing ardently at the feet of one audience member, and then another and another. She is dragged mid-song from her listeners to the water and pulled along the surface a la Busby Berkeley. Her mouth slips below the waterline repeatedly as she sings. An electronic soundswell surges up around the listeners, and the lights blink out. A video plays on the waterʼs surface. Snapper has fallen to the pool's floor. Her voice rises from the depths with increasing agitation. After several minutes, her feverish singing begins to slow and members of the audience move toward the edge of the water, singing. Sighing, undulating chords well up from the water as their voices merge. Then, a second chorale rises gradually from within the audience: a cicada-like crackle of parched throats that vibrates against the juicy burble of mouths in water. The lights slowly dim.
Conceived and performed by Juliana Snapper
Video Entremet by Paula Cronan
Live electronic music by Soqrmom (Pieter Snapper)
Costume by Susan Matheson
Production and organization: Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Executive producers: Marcela Okretič, Tina Dobnik
Co-production: Association for the Promotion of Women in Culture - City of Women, Kapelica gallery
Project supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the City of Ljubljana
Special thanks: Faculty of Sport of the University of Ljubljana, Club Norik-sub, ŠKUC/Club Tiffany, all volunteers
Aksioma - Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana
Neubergerjeva 25, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenjia