the female identity in opera
how can we reframe the female identity defined by the male characters in opera as a celebration of the wild woman?
My project will be an accessory worn by a female character during an opera performance that, through speech recognition/ text analysis, identifies when she’s being referred by the male characters in an authoritarian tone informed by social gender norms. Through that identification, this accessory will change its physical form and manipulate the female’s voice – projecting the power of being a wild woman. It’s in the nature of the opera to be a performative genre and within it, gender is no exception. It has a long history of how the character’s gender and the performer’s gender were combined (man playing woman, woman playing man, woman playing castrato roles etc) and its through voice, costume and choreography that the gender of the character is truly performed.
I’ll be reading about the following topics (but not limited to them): female identity, gender & opera, contemporary identity, female archetypes, character construction, feminism, identity perception, wild women;
i’ll be reaching out researchers & artists who have done work about women’s empowerment, identity, identity perception as well as being in touch with people from the opera, costume designers & opera singers;
i’ll be researching about text/sound as mediums and how recently possible new technologies can retell the performatic & impactful stories told through the art of opera, text analysis, speech recognition, wearable technologies, soft robotics etc.
through the body of work i’ve been developing at ITP, i found myself very interested in pointing out unnoticed moments of women empowerment through either objects or metaphorical archetypes representations. on this context, it always comes to my mind a question with no exact answer: what it means to be a female? what is the female identity? recently i’ve been reading about the wild woman, the original and natural essence of being a female, and i believe that when women get in touch with that part of themselves, they embody the most powerful aspect of being a female – and it can have the power to change the way women are understood within our society. in addition, i’ve developed through the last 5 years an interest in opera and i see most of my friends underrating it as an impactful art . and as we see a lot of meta art about groundbreaking painting, videos, installations & manifestos, there is barely any artwork that approaches opera content – so i strongly believe this is an opportunity to talk about this art medium & storytelling on a more contemporary perspective. my main goal with this project is to make people rethink of female archetype(s) within the art context & beyond; how it can reinforces negative and/or submissive aspects but also how we can instigate people to rethink about those perceptions and reflect this on their daily lives.