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Possession  

Opera, 60 minutes
Arts House, 27-30 May 2020
as part of Next Wave Festival 2020 (forthcoming)

Composer/Performer: Marcus Whale
Designer: Matt Adey
Dramaturg: Justin Shoulder

A single performer wields feedback-producing microphones in a series of musical conjurings. Ritualistic and disembodied sounds hum, howl, squeal and thrum as they usher in an unseen force that slowly takes control of the performer’s body. Held by both the body and space they seem to swell unnaturally alongside this soundscape of haunted vibrations. Referencing the horror film trope of the “monster queer,” this performance becomes a grotesque dance in which the performer’s body both moves and is moved by sound.

Possession is an experimental, electronic opera for one performer that depicts desire as a form of spirit possession. Drawing from classicist Anne Carson’s idea of Eros as the love for a “hole in oneself”, Possession depicts desire as a magical summoning of the other, a longing for communion with the invisible.

This opera leads on from previous performances including The Same Nest (Campbelltown Arts Centre), Praise! (with Eugene Choi) and Lucifer (with Athena Thebus) in unravelling the thorny terrain of desire and attempting to unlock its vast imaginative force. In Possession, desire is a monstrous means of transformation, a portal towards new and triumphant ways of being and becoming.