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Swan Song Chorale

  • Denniston Hill 43 Denniston Hill Road Monticello, NY, 12701 United States (map)

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The sonic artist Juliana Snapper has staged operas that take shape around the material tension between water and air and the parallel spectors of drought and drowned, or ruined, cities. Maximizing bone conduction and controlling bubble output as part of a new vocal fabric, Snapper sings directly into the water, probing our shifting relationship to water and to each other in moments of crisis and emotional overwhelm.

Snapper presented "Dress Rehearsal for the End of Time: Swan Song Chorale (with ballet intermezzo), an underwater opera" on September 6, 2009, in the pool of Denniston Hill. The opera performance was preceded by a short workshop in which audience members were instructed in how to perform as a chorale. At the beginning of the performance, Snapper, attended by two other performers (Laurie Weeks and Jeanine Oleson) descended from the hill behind the pool while the audience/chorale members gathered around. The performers entered the pool and began singing underwater using a “snorkelabra.” As the underwater opera unfolded, Oleson’s character enacted a drama of violence by trying to drown Snapper while at the same time supporting her.

The performance was recorded by the Outlier Inn and video documentation was made by kara lynch.


Co-sponsored by The New York State Council on the Arts and the Experimental Television Center in Owego, NY.

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