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Opera for the Deaf

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The artists attempt to translate, transcribe and incorporate a single language into music. Robert Piotrowicz’s Opera for the Deaf and Kuba Krzewiński’s Ep explore sign language, culture, communication and identities of deaf people. An intuitive understanding of the deaf community comes right at the end, after working through essential aspects such as exclusion, culture clashes, violence and emancipation. A shadow of understanding appeared at the point of the greatest misunderstanding: when hearing musicians, directors and librettists and deaf actors, poets and dancers were unable to agree on how to finish the Opera for the Deaf they were all working on. In Ep, two musicians map and study their string instruments: they check their sound and test their own bodies and personal boundaries. Two others sit opposite one another, and recreate the sounds of piano and kettle drum through choreographed movement. The bass drum is played by another performer who sings, in sign language, a song about strangeness (the titular “Ep”), accompanied by a terribly serious double-bassist…

Robert Piotrowicz – Opera for the Deaf (2018) 47'

Libretto: Wojtek Zrałek-Kossakowski/Adam Stoyanov
Direction/dramatization: Wojtek Zrałek-Kossakowski/Michał Mendyk
Choreography: Karol Tymiński
Film direction and photography: Zuzanna Solakiewicz/Zvika Gregory Portnoy

Kuba Krzewiński – Ep for sign-language poet, percussion, double bass and electronica (2018) 20'

Adam Stoyanov – sign-language poet
Emilia Sitarz – piano
Hubert Zemler – bass drum
Łukasz Owczynnikow – double bass

Zuzanna Solakiewicz – direction and montage
Zvika Gregory Portnoy – photography
Robert Migas-Mazur – sound direction

Co-organised by Bôłt Records