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 Philip Glass x
Jorinde Keesmaat


She/her/me is a new opera and video labyrinth inspired by, and using, the music of Philip Glass and films of Jean Cocteau. With the full cooperation of Philip Glass, couples from La Belle et la Bête, Les Enfants Terribles and Orphée will be ‘recast’ in a 75’ music theatre piece using Glass’ original music. In Keesmaat’s immersive staging Orpheus and Eurydice, Beauty and the Beast, Paul and Elizabeth explore classic Cocteau themes: the everyday, but also transformational, magic worlds. Pervasive in She/Her/Me: questions of love, trust, and subjugated female identity in art and life. Keesmaat’s claustrophobic setting imprisons ensemble, singers and audience. Extracts from Cocteau’s films are interspersed with live content on wrap-around screens. Alongside, and also a reflection upon Glass’s original scores, Keesmaat and Unusual Suspects are commissioning new music from a young female composer to underscore the dramaturgical force of Keesmaat’s vision driving this project.



Philip Glass: “In Paris, I found myself in the middle of the 1960s cinema revolution. The films dearest to me were Jean Cocteau’s – in particular Orphée, la Belle et la Bête and Les enfants terribles. When I started a five-year experiment to reinvent the synchronicity of image and music in film, I chose those Cocteau films. I love the pacing of his writing. It’s truly Shakespearean, knowing when to introduce, how to develop a character, how many characters are needed. Cocteau’s sense of dramatic development was impeccable, and the blend of the tragic and comic in one opera.”
Jorinde Keesmaat: “Audience and performers together captive in the Underworld, a labyrinth of projected images, looking for the way out, for light. Cocteau’s archetypal characters and the live performers coming together as a reflection of the here and now. Three contrasting love stories, all a creation of the masculine heart and brain. Dysfunctional relationships, all paralysed. By deconstructing the three operas I’ll create a new ‘fluidity’ in the brother/sister, man/woman, father/daughter relationship. I’ll remix them, creating space for the feminine perspective. The production re-examines how women define themselves in relation to men, but solely as independent, autonomous beings.”
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