The main reason for having decided to go to Opéra Opaque was the name of one of the puppeeters - Polina Borisova, whose solo performance on Go I had seen last year and absolutely fell for. Despite it not being her production this time I nevertheless considered that it had to be good, simply because I couldn't imagine this amazing actress and puppeteer participating in something which wouldn't be challenging and I was right.
She was joined by another very talented puppeteer, Pierre Tual and I feel that the whole performance greatly depended on their mastery.
The life-size puppet, Madame Silva whose peculiar and macabre inner premonitions we were exposed to in the form a shadow images projected within a moon-like screen is said to have come a lost village in Siberia, though ancient rumours mention her name as being associated with an abandoned castle in Brittany or the Norwegian forests, though one thing seems to be certain, she has connections to the hereafter.
The story unfolded in such a natural way that we seemed to anticipate Madame Silva's reactions in no time and yet despite her natural like attitudes that mostly made us laugh, there were times in which the unexpected played an important role and we either felt like screaming or had chills going down our spine.
The puppets built by Polina Borisova, Yngvild Aspeli and Priscille Du Manoir were so exquisitely peculiar that throughout the performance they could easily assume a role of absolute duality and be convincing.
The shadow performing scenes which were equally mastered added to the mysterious fantasy peopled by characters and animals that brought into the play the necessary suspense.
Integrated in the FIMFA 2014 Lisbon (International Festival of Puppets and Animated forms) Opéra Opaque was beyond no doubt one of its highly praised performances.
Direction: Yngvild Aspeli
Actors/puppeteers: Polina Borisova and Pierre Tual
Sound design: Guro Skumsnes Moe
Stage design: Gunhild Mathea Olaussen
Puppets's construction: Yngvild Aspeli, Polina Borisova and Priscille Du Manoir
Lighting design: David Farine
Costumes: Sylvia Denais
Produced in co-operation: Compagnie Philippe Genty - France
Co-production: Teater Innlandet - Norway; La MCNN Centre de Création et de Production - France
Supported by: Direction des Affaires Culturelles - DRAC Bourgogne - France; Norsk Kulturrad- Norway; Hedmark Fylkeskommune - Norway; Spenn.no - Norway; Fond for Lyd og Bilde - Norway; Fond for Utovende Kunstnere - Norway
In collaboration with: Turnéorganisasjon for Hedmark - Norway
Photos: Kristin Bengston Hagen
Technique: Full-view manipulation and shadows
Duration: 45 minutes
Language: Without words