Susannah Self’s installation Opera Analysis will be performed at the Stoke Newington Contemporary Music Festival on Sunday 8 May at 7.30pm.
Analysis is an Installation Opera for voice, soundscapes with optional live string quintet. It premièred at the CODA festival in Birmingham in 2019 and went on to be performed at The Maltings at Wells Next The Sea in Norfolk and at the Skyros Centre in Greece.
Analysis explores turning points in the life of a composer presented through the prism of a 10 year Jungian analysis. Its content is dark, witty, true and revealing . The analyst listens, reflects: ‘I have been waiting for this moment all my life’. The score is visual and accompanied by improvisatory cells placed beside the text. Vocal transformation develops throughout the piece creating exciting new possibilities. The installation consists of a simple set made of two pallets on castors covered in wood which then move.
The 45′ performance is segmented into 10 songs or movements:
Silence: ‘There is no sound of cooking, no laughter, no pulling of toilet chains’
Armpits: ‘It is the sweet smell of safety”
The Rocky Road ‘The journey is spectacular like an ouroboros we see the train’s tail emerge from a higher tunnel at Kicking Horse Pass’
Island: ‘Its touch is internal , it is rough hard rocks then smooth warm sand’
We Leave: ‘We pull away in the green mini, we only look back briefly’
The Crazed Conductor: ‘He is a mad dog running from the street down the steps in to out yard, he is in pain’
Analysis Monologue: ‘Have you heard “Into the Abyss” by Lilli Boulanger?’
Requiem for an Analyst with String Quintet: Requiem ‘You are standing in a field of tulips where you wife has cut off all the heads’
Dream: ‘The dress is red satin and decorated with an excessive amount of pearls, it is totally inappropriate for singing Verdi’s Requiem in The Albert Hall’
Transformation: Abstract vocal improvisation
Thinking Backwards: ‘He is wearing orange trousers which clash with his Union Jack socks, he has silky soft hair’
Analysis is proudly published by Composers Edition, as well as other works by Susanna Self.