juliana snapper


5 Fathoms Opera Project (2007…)
Five Fathoms Deep My Father Lies

Five Fathoms Deep My Father Lies — beyond the well-known verse passage in The Tempest by Shakespeare — was a multi-site underwater opera staged across the globe in water tanks, swimming pools, ocean grottos and (initially) in private bathrooms.

Juliana Snapper's 2007 Bathroom Recital (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
2007 Bathroom Recital, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

The project foreshadowed You Who Will Emerge from the Flood… (2009-2017) in that Juliana Snapper was already experimenting with singing underwater.

Five Fathoms Deep My Father Lies was taking shape around the material tension between water and air to explore the old lure of sirens and shipwrecks alongside the urgent ecological specters of drought and drowned cities.

Juliana Snapper merged extended techniques with Baroque naturalist tropes and cautionary Wagnerian arias (Erda, Kundry).

Each performance closed with a double chorus of local voices lured from the audience to the water; a chorus of lover suicides enacting evolution in rapturous reverse.

5 Fathoms Opera Project events

Among others, two events are to be noted, which took place at:

The initiative was supported by many volunteers and some institutions: the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, the City of Ljubljana, the Faculty of Sport of the University of Ljubljana, the Club Norik-sub, the ŠKUC/Club Tiffany.

2008 AKSIOMA's program note
 The audience gathers around a long indoor pool, lit from below. Snapper enters and approaches the water on her belly, stopping to sing ardently at the feet of one audience member, and then another and another. She is dragged mid-song from her listeners to the water and pulled along the surface à la Busby Berkeley. Her mouth slips below the waterline repeatedly as she sings. An electronic soundswell surges up around the listeners, and the lights blink out. A video plays on the waterʼs surface. Snapper has fallen to the pool's floor. Her voice rises from the depths with increasing agitation. After several minutes, her feverish singing begins to slow and members of the audience move toward the edge of the water, singing. Sighing, undulating chords well up from the water as their voices merge. Then, a second chorale rises gradually from within the audience: a cicada-like crackle of parched throats that vibrates against the juicy burble of mouths in water. The lights slowly dim. 
Juliana Snapper, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 20, 2008

A video interview in Ljubljana

PET SEŽNJEV GLOBOKO MOJ OČE LEŽI, Polnočna podvodna opera. Intervju pred dogodkom.
(FIVE FATHOMS DEEP MY FATHER LIES, Midnight underwater opera. Pre-event interview).

Footage provided by online news magazine Vest (June 19, 2008).

More about 5 Fathoms Opera Project

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