juliana snapper


Opera Listens to You (2011)
For a “Listening Vocality”

Just like your selfish lover, your narcissist BFF, your entire myopic family, Opera has exploited your sympathetic nature, wailing at you for hours at time about her stories, her needs, her feelings without once asking how YOU were. But now – drawing on psycho-acoustical and neurophysiological research, applied therapeutic strategies, and listening-based music technologies of composer Pauline Oliveros, Juliana Snapper has engineered for Opera a set of ears. Opera is ready to listen!

Using this “listening vocality” Juliana Snapper and a small operatic ensemble receive, unpack and operatically render the expressive statements of willing individuals. The four-step process of “active listening” is open to public witness. There is no problem solving, advice or commiseration. The goal is neither revelation nor catharsis but simply that each audience member that takes part be deeply and thoroughly heard.

Machine Project Poster archive, 2011

Opera Listens to You is an operatic re-connection performance that was premiered in laboratory form on July 22, 2011, for the Walker Art Center’s Open Field in collaboration with Machine Project (Los Angeles, CA, USA.)

Soprano Juliana Snapper joined by Ensemble Deviated Septet act as Opera’s ears. They employ an “active listening” process developed through clinical research to (re-)establish a healthy connection in partners who have — like Opera and her audience — become gradually estranged.

Juliana Snapper with Ensemble Deviated Septet
Juliana Snapper with Ensemble Deviated Septet.

 …it was so beautiful. We were able to listen and to sing however we felt like and, for one suspended moment, this united us. 

Laura Robards,
Walker Art Center Magazine,
July 30, 2011

Read her full review: “Machine on the Field: Opera Listens to You”