5 min. 2 sec., UHD, mono, 1-channel-installation, 2020
The video work "En Travesti" deals with the play with gender roles and travesty in opera, but also with gender roles and gender attributions in general. Five opera arias are staged in an unconventional way by a single singer. The cross-gender cast in the history and present of opera, which has been created since the Baroque era as a consequence of castration, is also a theme. The composer's remark "En travesti" is an indication that a role is to be cast as a counter-gender role. In the work the singer (mezzo-soprano) slips into the role of Medoro from Handel's "Orlando" with the aria "Verdi Allori", a male role that Handel deliberately wrote for a female mezzo-soprano, into the role of Tancredi from Rossini's "Tancredi" with the aria "Di tanti palpiti", which was also written for alto/mezzosoprano, in the role of Octavian from Strauss' "Rosenkavalier" with "Wie du warst", also composed for mezzo-soprano, in the role of Semira from Vinci's "Artarserse" with "Innocente".
The role of Semira is a woman's role that in ancient Rome was performed exclusively by castrati, since at that time in Rome women were forbidden on stage, and the role of Victor/Victoria from Mancini's musical of the same name, which tells of the singer Victoria, who appears as a travesty artist* named Victor. Filmed in portrait format against a black background, the singer's body is cut vertically into five equal parts by a five-part split screen. Singing body parts of the different roles are created. The individual body parts of the different roles, all of which are carried by one singer, are placed in relation to each other again and again. The figures and arias are interwoven visually and in sound in such a way that on the sound level an independent composition is created and in the picture a figure oscillating between different (gender) roles.
Cast und Team:
concept, directing, camera, editing: Binha Haase
mezzo soprano: Nadia Steinhardt
costume design: Nari Haase
make up: Katharina Kraft
sound: Claus Störmer