A play for three voices
(this production is no longer shown)
DAINIUS GAVENONIS (Singer)
BIRUTE MAR (Ballet-Dancer)
RASA SAMUOLYTE (Actress)
Premiere on 24 October, 2004 at the contemporary music festival “Gaida”, and on 25 February, 2006 in OKT / Vilnius City Theatre.
During the period of 2006-2008, the performance was shown at OKT / Vilnius City Theatre.
The location of the “Make-up Opera” is a make-up room where three actors (Ballet-Dancer, Actress, Singer) tell fragments of their life stories, reminding interviews of popular magazines and TV shows. On the big video screen, you can see changing faces with different make-ups (as they could have been or someday will be), and other roles. The voices of actors change together with the transitioning characters on the screen, creating a unique music of words and intonations.
The theme of the performance is the make-up of our lives: faces, souls, voices. Make-up is put on by everyone when they come into this world, make-up changes at different stages of life and every moment. We become so used to our own and others’ make-up that we start not to notice it any more. We are like characters who play different roles in different situations. As if we were living in “make-up cities”… Until finally, we are forced to remain without any make-up.
The human voice is also a kind of “makeup”: there are intonations with which we try to express the amplitude of pulsating and changing emotions such as speaking, laughter, sighing, shouting, whispering… Music of voices. Opera of voices.
Therefore, “opera” also means life in this case. Life that is sentimental and funny, exalted and tragic as well as beginning and ending without any notice… Returning to the silence that remains after each performance.
FROM THE PRESS REVIEWS
“Although the music in the “Make-Up Opera” was barely found, the entirety left the impression of the work as the most complete in the festival “Gaida”. It is a witty and highly visual performance about stereotypes. The idea of the author and director of the libretto, Birute Mar, seems simple: excerpts from various interviews and “confessions” from women’s magazines used for the text are voiced by three actors who incarnate into changing characters (Rasa Samuolyte, Birute Mar, Dainius Gavenonis). It is an elementary idea but at the same time completely unexpected because its goal is to illustrate those texts with portraits of actors painted with different make-up (scenographer Jurate Paulekaite, make-up author Jolanta Rimkute, photographer Dmitrijus Matvejevas, video projection author Andrius Jakucionis). Their “parade” is a kind of make-up encyclopedia. Everything is simple but extremely unexpected and new. It seems that an interesting entirety was created “out of nothing” which was also quite operative. Since the characters’ texts are “recited not only solo, there are also their “ensembles”, stretti, they can be associated with distant echoes of the operatic structure.”
“Equation with the unknown Opera” by Beata Lescinska (7 Days of Art, 2004)
“The passions of young and mature “artists” about their personal life sound funny, yes. You take part in that rather ordinary masquerade in an unusual place whilst admiring the voice capabilities of make-up artists and actors but not yet noticing the trap in the performance.
As the caravan with characters approaches old age, the ridiculousness of their self-presentation does not diminish. However, you start to count the results and ask yourself: has your life been nothing but a gossip? You have created your portrait for society with words and you stay with those words like a broken record at the end of your life…”
“The Pleasure of Creativity Flourished in the Make-Up City” by Ruta Oginskaite (Lietuvos rytas, 2006)
Video recording of the performance at the Contemporary Music Festival GAIDA, Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius in 2004. (1:10:47)
Special jury award at “MESS” International Theatre Festival in Sarayev /Bosnia, 2006/
International Contemporary Music Festival “Gaida” in Vilnius /Lithuania, 2004/
International Theatre Festival „Sirenos“ /Lithuania, 2006/
International Theatre Festival „MESS“ in Sarayev /Bosnia, 2006/
International Theatre Festival “Leipzig Euroscene” /Germany, 2006/
Presentation of East European Theatre /London River Side Studio, England, 2006/
International “Figuren theater” festival in Erlangen /Germany, 2007/
International Theatre Festival of Marionettes in Neuchatel /Switzerland, 2007/