October 19 (Seattle): Gongs, Cocktails & Nazi Drag Queens

October 19, 7:30 – 9 pm – Free!  Barca Lounge, 1510 11th Avenue Seattle, Washington 98122, 206.325.8263

The Fisher Ensemble presents the vignette “Les Voyelles” from Garrett Fisher’s opera Magda at Barca Lounge, as part of an event to support the ensemble and its forthcoming L.A. premiere (November 10-11). Witness the unveiling of a new paper dress worn designed by L.A. artist Tori Ellison for the drag queen lead José Luis Muñoz, and enjoy a menu of original cocktails inspired by the opera.

About Magda G

Infused with hints of the Greek tragedy Medea, Magda (with libretto by Amy Schrader) is based on wife of Nazi Germany’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. Magda bore six children, whose  names all began with the letter “H,” supposedly out of reverence for Hitler. In 1945, in the war’s waning hours, Magda Goebbels murdered her children in the Führerbunker before committing double suicide with her husband. In Euripides’ play, Medea murders her children to seek revenge against her unfaithful husband. Magda, on the other hand, performed the act as protest against a quickly changing political landscape. The opera explores the similarities and differences between these  two figures and their stories.

In 2013-4, this opera will become the key element of a new film, Magda G (magdathefilm.com) directed by Ryan K Adams and written by Garrett Fisher/Amy Schrader. The film centers on the actress Maria Halcón who stars in the production, and who finds herself implicated in the opera’s story and  subject matter in unusual (and unfortunate) ways. This Greek tragedy-within-an-opera-within-a-film reveals itself much like a Russian doll, and resonates with our own culture’s struggle to  discern what is real and what is propaganda, what is historical and what is fictional, cutting to the  very core of our struggle to make sense of a confusing and ever-innovating universe. Magda has received support from 4Culture.

Jenifer Ward, author of Reworking the German Past: Adaptations in Film, the Arts, and Popular Culture, writes:

Told in a new language of cinema, in which the musical line drives the narrative as much as any visual image, Magda G is a rich, uncomfortably seductive, and complex adaptation that defies traditional understandings of genre, myth, and history.

In 2012, Seattle’s The Project Room (projectroomseattle.org) featured Magda as part of its Beginnings and Solutions series. As part of these series, the Fisher Ensemble unveiled the restoration of the Klavihorn, a rare instrument that plays an important role in the film. The ensemble also performed excerpts of the work-in-progress, and gave a script-reading with local actors.

The event also features performances by core members of the Fisher Ensemble: Kristen Ramer LiangShawna Avinger, John Coons, Sarah Marroquin, Kathea Yarnell, Dean Moore, Yigit Kolat, Rosalynn Deroos, Esther Sugai and Stan Shikuma.