experimental vocal-object opera

How personal, how intimate is it to hear a human voice? How close can the voice get and to what extent can we perceive its message? Voice as the conventional carrier of words and meaning, of melody, of emotion. What are the different expectations scripted voices should meet, and what if they don’t meet them precisely? Sourceless human voice, disembodied voice taking the form of sound, light, object or manifesting itself directly in the loudspeaker, radio, telephone, these newly borrowed bodies. 

Approximate is a chamber opera that plays around with our accustomed perceptions, subverting our usual expectations both at the level of sensory perception and the level of plot mechanics. The creators use both complex and utterly simple techniques to interrogate the extent of possible discrepancies between perception and thinking. The libretto is grounded in philosophical phenomenology and cognitive psychology, but also handbooks on hypnosis or concentration training. The voice enters into a rhythmically precise dialogue not just with instruments, but also light, movement, projected images, objects or space. The non-hierarchical creative process brought together prominent stage artists and musicians from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Germany.

commissioned by New Opera Days festival

premiered 27/6/2022

Audio from performance at Futurissimo radio programme