Prototype Festival

In Performance: Matt Marks and Paul Peers, Mata Hari (Prototype Festival)

Matt Marks and Paul Peers Mata Hari January 5-7 and 11-14 at 7pm January 8 at 2pm PROTOTYPE HERE Arts Center 145 6th Ave Mata Hari tells the story of historical figure Mata Hari, a dancer/courtesan who was executed by the French during WWI for being a German spy. When we first see Mata Hari, she is decked in jewels and a beautiful gown—a dancer in full glory. But the glory lasts only a moment, as she is soon surrounded by five male soldiers who take everything away from her save a slip. She spends the rest of the opera exposed, in this slip, in a prison cell, talking to the nun who is her keeper and the captain who is set on sending her to her death. Through these exchanges and the recreations of episodes in her life that bloom from them, we learn about all of her exploits, from being abus...

In Performance: Breaking the Waves (Prototype Festival)

Prototype Festival Breaking the Waves Missy Mazzoli & Royce Vavrek (USA) NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts 566 LaGuardia Place January 6-9 Based on Lars Von Trier’s 1996 film of the same name, the new opera Breaking the Waves offers a grand showcase for the soprano Kiera Duffy. Duffy delivers a powerhouse performance as Bess McNeill, an unstable, lovestruck girl in a religious seaside town. Von Trier’s story is a bleak one. After her beloved husband is paralyzed, Bess agrees to his demands that she have sex with other men and describe the encounters to him. Her increasing degradation, mistreatment and eventual murder at the hands of the townsmen is depicted as a kind of selfless martyrdom, with various characters continually referring to her “goodness” and “golden heart.” It ...

In Performance: Anatomy Theater (Prototype 2017)

Anatomy Theater (Prototype 2017) New York City Premiere January 7, 8 and 10-14 at 8 PM Composer: David Lang Librettists: Mark Dion & David Lang Director: Bob McGrath Conductor: Christopher Rountree It is sometime in the nineteenth century, somewhere in the western hemisphere. Upon entering the theater I am declared a “surgeon” and led to a lantern-lit holding room where other so-called surgeons and I are served hot sausages (vegetarian options available) and cold beer in aluminum steins. “You don’t want to attend a hanging on an empty stomach!” quips the woman in period dress who slathers mustard on my veggie dog. The surgeons mingle. A drum sounds a militaristic beat and from the dust there appears a hulking, hooded male figure. He violently drags a woman in rags through the crowd. We...

In Performance – Sarah Small, Secondary Dominance (Prototype Festival)

Sarah Small Secondary Dominance January 6, 7, & 11-14, 9pm Prototype 2017 HERE 145 6th Avenue, New York In Secondary Dominance, the multi-media concert debuting at Prototype after over a decade in development, creator Sarah Smalls and director Wade McCollum build an evening at times spectacular, intimate, moving, and overwhelming. In 13 short movements Smalls combines a plethora of diverse genres including Balkan folk music, industrial goth rock, contemporary chamber, renaissance, and punk utilizing Chinese sheng, strings, winds, live and recorded electronics, densely layered vocals, dancers, live performers, and projected media to bring the piece to glorious life. The result is a lush and fast-moving piece that frequently undermines your expectations both musically and theatrically. S...