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Interpretation

June 7, 2011

In gearing up for tomorrow, we’ve had to make some decisions of how we’ll interpret Perfect Lives into this particular performative medium.  Ashley & co. performed the piece in various live configurations in the 70s & 80s (see the Greenaway doc on ubu for some excerpts of a live version), and the Kitchen commissioned the definitive television opera version, as available through Lovely Music.  But we’re in a very different situation: public, mostly outdoor performance, and hence no stage, no A/V, no piano, no backing track, etc.  We’ve decided to foreground the text and the interplay of the lead reader and the chorus (indicated in the libretto with roman for the leader and italic for the chorus).  We also have five players (plus additional chorus) where the original had four (+ A/V personnel), so we’re playing a little with the interplay of voices and instruments.  For example, Episode 5 will be read as a dialogue, with a clearly differentiated Will & Ida instead of a single narrator.  This compromises the original production’s aural and visual economy of the four players, standing in at all times for the voices in the scene, but having no video component to our  telling of the story necessitates such decisions.  While we’ve put thought & care into these decisions, we should reiterate that this is our own unofficial rendition of Perfect Lives, and we’re just trying to show some parts in distinctive lights.

-Dave

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