When the Theatrophone emerged in the late 1800s, this new and fashionable way of listening to opera soon gained avid supporters. Music loving Victorians, King Luis I of Portugal and the famous French writer Marcel Prost would all listen remotely to live performances at the Paris Opera via the Theatrophone. Now, you too can connect to operas all over Europe, when Bergen National Opera invites you to reach for your phone and dial in to the audio art project THIS EVENING’S PERFORMANCE HAS NOT BEEN CANCELLED.

The 2020 update includes more than a wireless connection. As you dial in you meet real people on the other end: a singer, director, costume designer, make-up person, etc – all closely related to an opera which has been cancelled due to Covid-19. You may also choose to listen to an aria, link to the special website, or hop between opera houses. If you want to talk to someone in Bergen, you will hear about the Mozart opera La clemenza di Tito, which was canceled just a week and a half before the premiere. European partners are Teatro Real in Madrid/Spain, Airport Society in Antwerp/Belgium, Wuppertaler Buehnen in Wuppertal/Germany, Musiektheater Transparant in Antwerp/Belgium, Grand Theatre de Geneve / Switzerland, Statsoper Hannover / Germany, Garsington Opera in Stokenchurch/Great Britain and Holland Festival in Amsterdam/Netherlands.

–Bergen National Opera has truly seized the opportunity to explore exciting new technology via a new opera call centre. We are thrilled to invite a wide audience to connect personally with opera houses internationally: THIS EVENINGS PERFORMANCE HAS NOT BEEN CANCELLED gives us all the unique chance to call up, make a new friend, and experience the unexpected, says Mary Miller, Artistic & General Director at Bergen National Opera

The Scottish artist Zoë Irvine primarily works with sound, voice exploration, field recordings and the relationship between sound and image. She is also a sound designer and lecturer in sound for film. Her fascination for telephone-based work has also been explored in the art projects Your Voice is You (2015) and DIAL-A-DIVA (2005).

“The idea of personal connection and individual story seems very powerful at the moment. Throughout Europe we are in, or emerging from, our own isolations. All of us who can, have moved our work, activities and social lives online. The outpouring of culture through streaming has been amazing, hope giving and encouraging.”
Zoë Irvine, Director and Curator

THIS EVENING’S PERFORMANCE HAS NOT BEEN CANCELLED will take place at the Bergen International Festival 31
st May and 2nd June 2020 and Holland Festival in Amsterdam 12th June 2020.

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Some images of cancelled or postponed productions from across Europe: