An opera performance about Freddie Mercury, a man of many guises. Himself an outsider – immigrant, man, woman, outcast, gay, diva – he was uniquely able to make a temporary collective out of his individual fans. This “multi-facetedness” inspired Boogaerdt and Van der Schoot to create a performance about the tension between being absorbed in a group and distinguishing yourself as an individual. The performance consists of three parts. In the first, the audience members are separated from each other, and they experience a composition based on Bohemian Rhapsody. Then, in a new space, audience members in small groups participate in a performance about the characteristics that they share with each other, and with Freddie. In the final space, all of the audience comes together to be present at the rebirth of Freddie’s body, and to experience a sense of collective consciousness by singing Bohemian Rhapsody together.
The location for this project is De Wasserij in Rotterdam: an industrial hall full of pillars. We create a powerful counter-movement in this space, a spaceship-like temple for a service. The outer edges of the 30x30x30m triangle consist of 100 cubicles, in which the audience members experience the first part of the performance in isolation. They then move via the cubicles into one of the three interior spaces, at which point the middle phase of the performance begins. Finally, these small groups flow together to the innermost interior of the temple, where they form one large group sitting on a riser. The feeling of becoming part of a mass is reinforced by the reflective walls and projections, in which the audience members see themselves.
Theater Rotterdam 2017
concept and performance Bianca van der Schoot
Michael Rauter (componist)
video Muskens & Racké
costumes Erik Bosman
Karin van der Leeuw
set and light M\W