Concept + Libretto + Directing: Elli Papakonstantinou
Performers: Marilena Chrisohoidi, Anastasia Katsinavaki, Pantelis Makkas, Vivi Petsi, Blaine L. Reininger
Musical composition + Orchestration: Tilemachos Moussas
Video Design + Real-time video + Set and Costumes Design: Pantelis Makkas
Dramaturgical collaboration: Stella Rapti, Tanja Diers
Shadow puppet designer: Tassos Konstas
Lighting design: Olympia Mytilinaiou
Piano + Music coaching: Anastasia Katsinavaki
Santoor: Marilena Chrisohoidi
Pedals + Effects: Blaine L. Reininger
Assistant Director: Katerina Drakopoulou
Production manager: Konstantina Angeletou
Communication: Nicol Votsi
Tour Manager + International Relations: Angeliki Vasilakou
Produced by ODC Ensemble
Find out when & where – here
A new opera for four Voices, santoor, piano & live electronics. Conceived and directed by Elli Papakonstantinou, this international co-production investigates parallels between today’s virtual reality world, fake news and Plato’s allegory of the Cave.
THE CAVE is a cyber punk opera on a popular theme Matrix. An oratorical opera in the intersection between opera, cinema and new technologies, this radical performance calls for critical reflection on fake news and post truth. It’s a contemporary reinterpretation of Plato’s famous “Cave” allegory. Shadow puppetry, new media, visuals and music are all performed in real time by a cast of four. Nothing is ever still. The Cave challenges the boundaries of contemporary opera, drawing from a variety of music genres. In the intersection of reality and fantasy, material & immaterial, with an emphasis on the exploration of self-truth. The staged transcription of the philosophical text is interwoven with intertextual adds – Buddhist sutras, hyperrealistic conversations etc.- and pinholes onto today’s world. Socrates is a robot’s voice and this sarcasm runs through out the piece. while mythological creatures pass as shadows of another world all too close to ours; In Plato’s allegory people are chained in a cave and they are facing the inside of the cave whereupon they see the shadows of the outside world. In so doing, they interpret “reality” through this optic of the shadows. The cave brings out how the two-dimensional vision of the three-dimensional life translates in today’s realities in misconceptions that we may have regarding what’s going on as for example in the domains of politics, of society and of course ethics.
Proud winners of the Music Theatre NOW 2018 competition
“Elli Papakonstantinou´s THE CAVE takes us by storm with its powerful sound and visuals from the very first minute. Very much like today´s worldwide “reality”: a cacophony of social media, “news,” non-stop visual information, and the voices of the multiple channels of information that bombard us from dawn to dusk. But, is this “reality” or are we still trapped in Socrates´s cave?”
Jury Statement, Shoshana Polanco for the Jury Members of the 2018 edition of MusicTheatreNOW competition
…A veritable bombardment of all senses. Eye, ear and not least brain fought to keep up.It’s strange and beautiful, ugly and cloudy….like everyone else in the chamber, I was blown away.
Bent Stenbakken, nordjyske.dk
…the piece redefines the meaning of contemporary musical theatre with a social message away from any reference to prosaic complaints. A substantial aesthetic event.
Dimitris Tsatsoulis, greek-theatre.gr
…An amazing cyber-punk new opera.
…One of the best representatives of Greek avant-garde, Elli Papakonstantinou, never seizes to surprise us.
Maria Kryou, ATHINORAMA
The Greek Play Project
Elli Papakonstantinou – ODC Ensemble, “The Cave”, Athens Concert Hall, 10/2018
[…] Elli Papakonstantinou’s and Tilemachos Mousas’ cyber-punk opera found its right place to be seen and heard in the Athens Concert Hall […]It is a complete work that comes as a calumniation to her past experimental performances, redefining the meaning of modern musical theater with a social discourse, far from any realistic reference and trivial protest. It’s an essential aesthetic event.
The Cph Opera Festival goes avantgarde.
[…] The Greek ODC Ensemble is just exploring every step of the CAVE, and Elli Papakonstantinou’s disruptive interpretation of Platon’s allegory, with punk, video art and shadow theater, is avant-garde at it’s darkest.[…]
[…]It’s a solid, courageous and multifaceted ensemble, and right now they even have a guest star in the show, the legendary Blaine Leslie Reininger from Tuxedomoon – cool to see the old silver dots keep the style and straighten the tie.
THE CAVE is a mix of opera, video, sound effects, shadow theater and soundtrack from Trump’s press conference, and if you think you’re true to reality, think again. Or should you? […]
[…] Elli Papakonstantinou does not juxtapose the ideal of the Platonic truth with the fake news era (as it is so easily made by the “valid” information providers). As she has done in the past, she brings into dialogue, Plato’s ideas with the present that poses new questions. And she benefits from this very dialogue to reflect critically on the present. Using visuals and performing techniques, the ODC Ensemble team represents the platonic cave in a digital way. But with two essential differences: on one hand, the shadows that dominate the cave wall are of the people themselves and not of the objects of the natural world. And, on the other hand, the subjects coexist with their shadows, their action with their depiction, their speech with its transformations. Physical presence coexists with its representation, creating a new reality. It is in this context that the problem of truth is raised anew. It’s not a problem that can be solved easily. But Papakonstantinou seems to imply that the solution is linked to the search for a third dimension, which will reintroduce the sense of perspective into a universe where the subject of knowledge itself is dissolved into light. […]
Elli Papakonstantinou: The persistent representative of the Greek avant-garde
[…] Bold, controversial, often sarcastic, Elli Papakonstantinou always manages to surprise us. But this is not her purpose.
[…] Like many European artists, she believes that theater is an art of survival within regimes, systems, and destructive habits; Papakonstantinou goes into a deeper process aiming at performances that cause deep and psychic vibrations. […]
Elli’s tree strong points:
Interactivity with the audience
Already since her work at Vyrsodepseio, the hot spot of the postmodern Athenian theater, she manages to transform stage action into live experiences, allowing her audience to take long promenades in industrial spaces, as was the case in “After” (2011) and “Louisette: the backstage of a revolution”(2017).
For Elli, music leads to a time space beyond the ordinary; she constructs narratives alongside with musician Tilemachos Moussas on stage. “Cave’s” music is based on a vast range of influences: traditional music, loops, etc.
Many of her performances, such as the much-talked and successful “REVOLT ATHENΣ” and now “The Cave”, evolve through international residencies and collaborations over time, while playing in theaters and festivals abroad. After the performances at the Technis Theater, “Cave” will be performed at the BE Festival, in the U.K.”
Facts have been replaced by points of view
[…] Elli Papakonstantinou brings into dialogue, Plato’s ideas with a present that poses new questions. And she benefits from this very dialogue to reflect critically on the present […]
“The Cave” by Elli Papakonstantinou at the Greek Art Theater Karolos Koun’s Underground
[…] “Ultimately, the philosophical question posed by the Platonic “Cave of Ideas” […] in my opinion, is one and simple: Does the old being, imprisoned in obsessive ideas, prejudices, in superstition of scientific axioms and divine laws, desire this New Knowledge, at the time of digital Information, when this Knowledge extends to the area of ”metaphysical”, of UNATTERABLE, of unspeakable, largely inaccessible from COMMON LOGIC
[…] Are we again at the same time-space crossroads when man came out of the Middle Ages and before enjoying the luminous Renaissance was unable to think and admit the simple ancient truth that the earth is NOT flat?
[…] Lest that the Platonic parable of the first great victim of Athenian democracy is more relevant than ever, when the fascism of “scientific truth” and experimentally demonstrable knowledge hangs like a sword of Damocles over the heads of visionaries, poets and prophets of the Future?
[…] I regret whenever an expert, unilaterally trained to a minimum, to a slice of specialized knowledge, offends me by urging me – sometimes kindly and sometimes lubberly – to “restrict myself to my cognitive subject” !!! My good man, good people, gentlemen (when you are human), have you not heard the term “Renaissance man”? Would you cast in your modern medieval fires enlightened spirits like Da Vinci, Galileo, Giordano Bruno? Because there are of course their analogues today, but they act in secret to avoid monolithic aphorisms and your brain calculus!!!
[…] So, under the weight of these thoughts, I double and triple enjoyed this youthful, postmodern, deconstructive, unpredictable and groundbreaking effort to tell an old story in a new way and to pour the wine into new bottles.
[…] I can only greet every attempt to modernize and revive the Truth that is always one, no matter how it changes clothes and shoes, armor and shades from one time to another.
[…] Do not miss it. Bravo to Marianna Kalbari, who – as a capable artistic director – opened the historical Technis Theater to contemporary innovation, while remaining faithful to the spirit of its founder, Karolos Koun. […]
[..] In a shattered time loop, in a semidetached dimension, future / past, perhaps in a time curve, Plato can stand next to Netflix, darkness leads to a less dark virtual reality, shadows can be the reality, and – like a trampoline – that can send you out – or again inside the cave.
No worries. Do not panic. Here comes the good news:
The good news is: The Cave by Elli Papakonstantinou – active and dynamic – at the Technis Theater – I saw it and definitely recommend it.
Combining new media with new opera, this is an overwhelming show of visuals and music taking us through the philosophical perspective of a suffocating, dark era.
From Plato’s allegorical cave to facebook’s fake life.
The music of Tilemachos Mousas shines at the heart of the project – four voices, santour, piano and live electronics – continuous movement and alternation.
All the elements of the performance, the music of Tilemachos Μousas, the speech, the visuals (Pantelis Makkas), the acting (Stavros Jagoulis, Anastasia Katsinavaki, Vivi Petzi, Marilena Chrysochoidis), the shadow puppetry (Tasos Konstas), the intense and dynamic style of Elli’s company ODC Ensemble are so complete and ready to fly in theaters / theatrical scenes abroad. [..]