Nature is a language — can’t you read?
An opera commissioned as part of Chamber Made Opera’s Living Room Opera series and Bell Shakespeare’s Mind’s Eye development program, Ophelia doesn’t live here anymore… brings Schlusser’s trademark “hysterical realism” into contact with the biggest elephant in the theatrical room: Hamlet. Stripping the language reveals Shakespeare’s architecture – a labyrinth of domestic power-play and erotic nightmare. Ophelia doesn’t live here anymore… is the story of Ophelia, a monomaniacal botanist, willful, unpredictable and in love with a self-harming sociopath.
“All three performers are intense. They rely not so much on dialogue (a significant chunk of which is a highly staged exchange between Hamlet and Ophelia from Shakespeare’s text) as looks, symbolic props (such as animal skulls) and actions (Ophelia’s tearful chopping of a great pile of onions). These actions are often violent, and have a frisson of real danger when kitchen appliances, glass and large, sharp knives are involved. Even as this highly stylised performance unfolds, the intimate, genuinely domestic setting fights against it, creating a powerful sense of unease.
Judiciously employed projections, particularly videos of rapidly sped-up plant growth, are stunning, while Darrin Verhagen’s musical soundscape is a wonderfully atmospheric wash of brooding mechanical rhythms, harsh noise and, yes, a bit of singing.”
Patricia Maunder, ArtsHub
Karen Sibbing, Daniel Schlusser, Lily Paskas
Daniel Schlusser and devised by Daniel Schlusser Ensemble
Video Mapping and Operation
Chamber Made, Mind’s Eye – Bell Shakespeare’s development arm, and Daniel Schlusser Ensemble
November 24, 2011