Created during a residency at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Venice, PANIC ROOM - THE SINGTERVIEWS as a live show uses surveillance technologies to locate and track down a complete stranger who is invited to take part in the show as the last person alive in my panic room as we spin into outer space with all the music of the world aboard.
In concurrency with the rest of my projects, this piece is partly an investigation into how existing forms found in contemporary life can be utilised as operatic form that go beyond pure representation, hopefully presenting an opportunity to expand the variety of humanity represented onstage among other things. This piece looks at the form of the interview, interrogation and spying.
An Opera singer is in her panic room in Venice at the end of the world.An environmental disaster has occurred and at the worlds end she gathers into her panic room as many operas as she can, recordings, costumes, instruments, scenery, everything.
The panic room is filled not only with these artifacts but also computer screens showing scenes from outside the panic room, of flooding, fire, human desperation and looting. She knows that she will die in this panic room but that at least some fragments of the form will survive in space to be discovered. She picks one person to go with her to the worlds end to discuss art as planet earth dies and everything on it becomes extinct.As she interviews the person she feeds them cake and wine. The piece ends with them taking poison and peacefully falling asleep to an ever changing undulating electronic track.
Act 1: Spy - the audience is observed unseen via CCTV cameras placed throughout the venue. A new age meditation soundtrack is played and over which a live vocal is sung. Slowly the audience realise that they are being individually addressed, even as they wash their hands or order a beer.during this process an audience member is selected to go I to the Panic room with me to be interviewed with the premise that this is the last conversation they will ever have.
Act 2: Panic Room - the singer and interviewee are in the panic room as the world ends.the singer has a set of questions that she asks the interviewee about art,life and death?These are scripted musically but have room for extemporisation. The interview follows a pattern that is also set by the answers that the interviewee gives.
40 mins into the interview the singer gives the interviewee a poison pill and they peacefully die in their sleep to the sweet strains of an orchestra playing backward as it tips gently over the event horizon of a black hole.