For her first opera, Private View, the composer Annelies Van Parys chose to take as her starting point Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Rear Window, about a murder in a block of flats. 

Her collaboration with the librettist Jen Hadfield, scenarist Gaea Schoeters and director Tom Creed led to the creation of a pioneering opera that won several awards. Private View breaks with tradition, above all in the video installation by the Collective 33⅓, a visual trip based on found footage from old black & white films: it is not the singers who drive the ambiguous storyline forward as autonomous protagonists, but the video projections. Van Parys’ rich score, written for an original ensemble including percussion, accordion and electric guitar, is packed with surprising turns and subtle passages. The video images, singers and music together create an atmosphere of paranoia and alienation in which tension and humour merge, while also playing with the spectator’s perceptions. Private View turns its gaze to our major cities, where thousands of us ‘live together’ on isolated islands, our neighbours remain strangers and fleeting glances into other people’s living rooms soon lead to prejudice.


Location Dates Hour  
Borrealis Festival (Bergen)
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