La Cantatrice attend …

On PsychOpera , an experimental performance directed by Adham Hafez and performed by Nevine Alouba, part of 2 B continued Festival & Theatre and Dance Laboratory – Cairo 13-18 January 2011

Trapped in her agony, in her fears mixed with anticipation, the opera singer is waiting ..

Attracted by magnetic invisible strings, the audience were holding their breath, anticipating, manipulated by the provocative sharp electronic musical tones…

In a brilliant set , Adham hafez, the director, invited us to enter the restless creative tortured mind of an Opera Singer who is getting ready to enter on stage. These critical three seconds that normally precede the singer entrance on stage, before (s)he face  her/his audience (this absolute mysterious mass of strangers waiting there in the dark to judge him/her) were stretched to a whole 30 minutes , where we were invited to get into the cantatrice restless mind.

Nevine Alouba Performing

Between two layers of reality represented by the two transparent curtains, we see her trapped in her subconscious mind between the two worlds: the unconscious and conscious ones, we see her there, like a specter in her white dress waiting …

Thoughts, visuals, tones are interrupted and mixed up with long suffering opera singing notes

she is there standing behind the transparent curtain projecting her shadow (a marvelous scenographic effect) but yet , she is there trapped , ready and waiting ….

Finally the delivery approaches and the restless mind spits out his last words

My mind sits on me

and I become its very tired animal

you seek union

well enough to last long

but when I can , I can’t, I can’t

but when I can’t , I can’t, I can’t when I can’t

your thoughts are inaccessible

my thoughts are inaccessible

my thoughts are even inaccessible to me

it is inevitable to speak

but it confuses me

Your mind sits on me

and you become its very tired animal

I seek union

well enough to last long

but when I can , I can’t, I can’t

but when I can’t , I can’t, I can’t when I can’t

My thoughts are inaccessible

Your thoughts are inaccessible

Your thoughts are even inaccessible to me

it is inevitable to speak

but it confuses me

Was she addressing her unknown audience or simply her self? In a final act, the curtain opens, and here she is, glowing, in a majestic gesture salutes us, and starts her mute performance

But aren’t we all the same? Aren’t we all performers on the life stage, Deep inside, aren’t we agonizing over and over from our restless mind, Aren’t we shaping and reshaping ourselves according to the exterior situations, memorizing the roles of these different personas that we prepare to project? Aren’t we all waiting to perform?