(from a press release)
David Lang and Mark Dion's anatomy theater, premiered by Los Angeles Opera in a Beth Morrison Projects production, will see its New York premiere as part of the Prototype Festival January 7, 8 and 10 - 14 at BRIC Arts. Opera News called anatomy theater "a powerful morality play that addressed itself to some of the abiding terrors of our own time," while the Los Angeles Times described it as "high entertainment."
These Brooklyn performances will feature ICE (International Contemporary Ensemble) and the Ridge Theater collective: Bob McGrath, director; Bill Morrison, films, and Laurie Olinder, projections. Set designer and co-librettist Mark Dion's work examines the dialectics of scientific methods and subjective influences, and questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in society. Featured performers in anatomy theater are Peabody Southwell (Sarah Osborne), Marc Kudisch (Joshua Crouch), Robert Osborne (Baron Peel), and Timur (Ambrose Strang).
anatomy theater follows the story of the convict Sarah Osborne, who has pled guilty to murdering her husband and two children, from her trial through her dissection. Inspired by medical texts from the 18th and 19th centuries, anatomy theater takes as its subject the public dissection of Osborne. Lang and Dion note: "For much of the history of anatomical inquiry the only bodies available for dissection were those of executed convicts, and, after 1752, exclusively murderers. It was genuinely thought that the anatomy of evil people was different from that of law-abiding citizens, that their evil was written on their organs, and that specialists could identify the differences and demonstrate them publicly. This made public dissections a kind of moral carnival, in which upstanding citizens could literally look down on the flawed remains of evildoers."
This past summer saw the premiere of Lang's public domain, a work for 1,000 singers, on the Lincoln Center Plaza. The New York Times called the hot performance day, "a great day to be a New Yorker." Lang's chamber opera, the loser, opened BAM's 2016 Next Wave Festival in September. The opera, based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Bernhard, was called "beautiful and startlingly original" by the New York Review of Books. Lang was nominated for Academy and Golden Globe awards this past January for his Simple Song #3, written for the film Youth.
anatomy theater at Prototype Festival will be performed:
Saturday, January 7 at 8pm
Sunday, January 8 at 8pm
Tuesday, January 10 at 8pm
Wednesday, January 11 at 8pm
Thursday, January 12 at 8pm
Friday, January 13 at 8pm
Saturday, January 14 at 8pm
All performances are at BRIC Arts.