Past Shows

Bluebeard

Show Press

“Bluebeard comes in many shapes and sizes. 33⅓ Collective, the trio of young artists, has added a surprising variant: an almost entirely digital representation without soloists or live music. The overwhelming original images and tight theatrical approach raise this grim fairy tale opera to a very high level. Fascinating.”
— Opera Magazine

"On through another huge space, where a white box stands alone on an empty stage. A severed leg falls to the floor with a thud, followed by another, and another. 33⅓ Collective’s Bluebeard is a (…) masterpiece of video projection and computer animation. We are with Bluebeard’s seven undead wives, part of a nightmare we cannot control. Sound, image, movement, and magic are deftly employed to evoke nameless fears.”
— Financial Times

“And hasten especially to Bluebeard (…) the video realization does retain the essential sort of a woman opening (various) chambers of horrors, in this case containing just about every modern nightmare – from random massacres and serial axe murders to Middle Eastern warfare and ecological disaster. Some of the imagery is pretty repulsive, but the presentation is stunning. Images flicker and merge across a swiveling white cube and the floor with a sophistication that makes the video projections in conventional opera and theatre productions seem like your granddad’s home movies. Bluebeard is the jewel in Sonica’s crown."
— The Times, Glasgow

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About the Show

First viewed by PROTOTYPE producers at Operadagen Rotterdam, 33 1/3 Collective's Bluebeard will have its North American Premiere as PROTOTYPE Festival's first International work in a co-presentation with 3LD Art & Technology Center.  Having successfully created and produced a number of multimedia projects, the 33 1/3 Collective was invited by the Voi-Z Festival Zwolle, in the Netherlands, to produce Bluebeard (Blauwbaard).   Bluebeard successfully premièred on April 1, 2011.  This success resulted in the Collective being invited to perform at the Opera Dagen Rotterdam (May 2012), Oerol Festival (June 2012), Sound Festival, Aberdeen (October 2012), Sonica Festival (Cryptic Org), Glasgow, Schotland (November 2011), and now the PROTOTYPE: Opera/Theatre/Now Festival, New York (January 2013).  

The music and soundscape of Bluebeard are pre-recorded with a score created by nine musicians  of the renowned Rosa Ensemble (www.rosaensemble.nl) and one female singer. (There is no live music in this work.) Bluebeard expands on a traditional folk story with the visual themes of the Collective folded within.  In the story of Bluebeard, it is said that the locked rooms mirror the workings of the Duke’s - and therefore man’s psyche.  The relentless quest of Judith, the female and also virtual protagonist of Bluebeard, to enter these rooms, whatever the outcome, represents women’s pursuit of truth and their desire to understand the workings of men, hopefully to their advantage. 

In the Collective’s version of Bluebeard, the basics of the classical theatrical setup are shifted.  For instance, Bluebeard’s male protagonist is not illustrated by a performing actor, but has been turned into a virtual circumstance.  The virtual Judith leads the audience through several doorways and makes it seem that what is happening is behind closed doors.  As a result the audience feels as if they are inside the chambers, witnessing and undergoing Judith’s destiny.  Through this approach, virtual, multilayered, mysterious and constantly changing spaces are visualized and projected onto the floor as well as onto the geometrical environment of a large (sometimes pivoting) cube.

Co-Presented by 3LD Art & Technology Center
80 Greenwich Street @ Rector

CREDITS

Concept, musical direction and sound scape by Michael de Roo
Video by Douwe Dijkstra, Coen Huisman en Jules van Hulst
Dramaturgy by Peter te Nuyl
Musical arrangements by Rosa Ensemble, Daniel Cross
Featured singer Stephanie Pan
Voice-over artist Kevin Walton

Running Time: 40 Minutes

Post-Performance Discussion will follow the 8PM show on January 11th


About 3LD Art and Technology Center:

3LD Art & Technology Center creates and supports challenging large-scale art within a financially sustainable environment. Our goals are to create viable growth oriented business models for experimental art production, revitalize the experimental tradition in New York by improving the working conditions and quality of production, and foster a community of artists who work cooperatively and aggressively to address their own barriers. In order to achieve these goals, we create, re-distribute and re-imagine resources that drive core cost reduction while increasing capacity and revenue.  www.3ldnyc.org

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Artist Bio

33 1/3 COLLECTIVE

Based in Zwolle, Netherlands, 33 1/3 Collective consists of Douwe Dijkstra, Jules van Hulst and Coen Huisman, three young artists whom produce multimedia environments.They create images, atmospheres and theatrical scenes primarily using projections to tell their story. Through the use of beamers, they create disorientating differences in various visual perspectives and distances. 

Artist Statement

After having created Underexposed, Michael de Roo invited us to produce a contemporary version of Le Barbe Blue, a French literary folktale, the most famous version remaining that written by Charles Perrault and first published by Barbin in Paris in January 1697 in Histoires ou Contes du temps passé.  The tale tells the story of a violent nobleman in the habit of murdering his wives and the attempts of one wife to avoid the fate of her predecessors.  In our interpretation of Le Barbe Blue, the fate of this wife is depicted, not by an actress but by a virtual representation of an actress. Also Bluebeard’s male protagonist is turned into a virtual circumstance. The spectator witnesses the emotional quest of the wretched female creature. She leads us through Bluebeard’s dwellings in such a manner that we feel as if we are part of the plot: experiencing her fear and disgust and undergoing her inescapable destiny; an experience that is introduced by an enigmatic prologue and enhanced by a series of mesmerizing musical improvisations and soundscapes. Through this approach, virtual, multilayered, mysterious and constantly changing spaces are visualized and projected onto the floor as well as onto the geometrical environment of a large (sometimes pivoting) cube.

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