An opera by Katinka Fogh Vindelev
& Marie Kølbæk Iversen
Performed by countertenor Morten Grove Frandsen
and soprano Katinka Fogh Vindelev
Moonologue is a new opera produced in collaboration between composer Katinka Fogh Vindelev and visual artist Marie Kølbæk Iversen. It is an independent continuation of Kølbæk Iversen’s long-term art project Io/I, which formed part of Marie Laurberg's exhibition “The Moon” at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, 2018-19.
In the opera's libretto, written by Kølbæk Iversen, the diverging identities of Io is explored: Io is Jupiter's inner-most moon, which was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei, but she is also the Greek-Roman mythological priestess after whom the moon is named. Through Galileo's Italian ('io' is the Italian word for 'I') the different manifestations of Io are synthesised into a composite Self; a Self thus also encompassing Galileo as well as the artists – the audience even; a Self which speaks through the Moonologue.
In her composition of Kølbæk Iversen's text, Fogh Vindelev takes as her starting point this blurring of identities, which she reflects in the two voices – a male and a female voice, a countertenor and a soprano (sung by Morten Grove Frandsen and Fogh Vindelev herself) – that intersect and diffuse each other beyond the singers’ cultural and biological genders. The composition shifts between recitative and abstract parts together reflecting the hybridising, supernatural, and mythic character of the text.
The collaboration initially manifested as two live performances at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art during the fall and winter of 2018, for which Kølbæk Iversen created the costumes and aluminium masks: one at full moon on November 23, and one at new moon on December 7, 2018.
On January 21st, 2019 – the first full moon of 2019 – the opera was performed at Oslo National Academy of the Arts for the annual Artistic Research Week. On May 12th, 2019, it was performed in Cisternerne as part of “A Colossal Weekend” and VEGA|ARTS curated by Matthias Borello, and on May 19th, the performance of Moonologue marked the finissage of the exhibition of “The Moon” at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo.
The opera is available as a limited vinyl edition through Antipyrine Records.
The project is realised with the kind support from Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and the Danish Arts Foundation and is part of Marie Kølbæk Iversen's artistic research fellowship supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme.