Moonologue. For our Suns

Ever heard a Moon Opera?

We end our space journey with a musical piece as an extension of our exhibtion The Moon. This is the last day of the exhibtion and this special comissioned opera is a one time only event.

Moonologue is a new opera produced in collaboration between composer Katinka Fogh Vindelev and visual artist Marie Kølbæk Iversen. It will be performed at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter on May 19 in the Auditorium, and is an independent continuation of Kølbæk Iversen’s long-term art project Io/I, which is an integral part of Kølbæk Iversen’s artistic research project “Neo-worlds: the transformative potentialities of fright” at KHiO. The opera was originally commissioned by Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, DK, for the first instantiation of the exhibition The Moon in 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 synthesized into a composite Self; a Self thus also encompassing Galileo as well as the artist—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 hybridizing, supernatural, and mythic elements of the text.

The opera premiered at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk, DK) at full moon on November 23, 2018 and was released as a limited vinyl edition by Antipyrine Records on this occasion. The project is realised with the kind support from Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, the Danish Arts Foundation, the Novo Nordisk Foundation, and the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme.