THE CARMEN VARIATIONS
(Work in progress, 2020)
When the leading curator in charge of an exhibition about Bizet for a New York museum is left
aphasic by a stroke, his assistant, Elizabeth Sherman, assumes his role. This event triggers a series of dreams in which a Male Dove and a Female Minotaur haunt her. As the exhibition opening approaches, the creatures of her dreams unravel a wildness and passion for erotic explorations she has never known before.
Torn between her unconscious desires and her life and work stability, Elizabeth discovers a hunger for adventure that takes her to change the exhibition into becoming an homage to the archetypal Carmen. Eventually, the forces in her life spread uncontrollably to the city, passing through her to the real world and causing a Bacchic chaos all around her. Elizabeth ends catatonic and is hospitalised in a psychiatric institution. After confronting her animal nature, she re-emerges to follow her passion for archeology at Catal Huyuk’s ruins in Turkey, free of her old self. In this sense, transformation is the central theme we seek to explore with this Opera.
Directed & Edited by Gisela Cardenas
Produced by HERE Arts Center and In Tandem Lab
Composer: Paul Pinto
This project is currently being developed as part of HERE artists in residence program.