Opera fiXi (2013)



–  is a bicycle opera written and directed by Kaffe Matthews and made in collaboration with theatre company Visões Úteis with location based software by Dave Griffiths.  Made for Porto, it was commissioned by Serralves em Festa 2013 and was a Serralves production commissioned by Pedro Rocha, running from May 25th to June 29th daily.

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Opera fiXi Porto 2013

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Opera fiXi tells of a time and place where the fishermen are women and the mermaids are men. Where the mermen have breasts and seaweed hair and play fishing line harps, and the fishergirls wear fishskin suits as they sail out to sea singing songs pitched at the frequency of the human heart (298.5Hz), calling to the male fish to come into their huge meshed nets woven from their hair and grape vines. Performed through a unique sonic bicycle system that locates the music in layered fragments to spots along the river Douro, audience is invited to the festival bike shop on the Ribeira downtown Porto, to take out a sonic bike and cycle riverside to the lighthouse and back, the music unfolding around them as they go.

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Sonic cycling takes audiences on beguiling journeys, often beautiful and otherworldly, at times funny and maybe strange but always convincing. FREE. OPerafiXiFINALSCOREw Opera fixi score layer 1.  – Showing the go layer, from bike shop to the lighthouse, Porto.

Opera FiXi’s content is inspired by contemporary fishing, the river Douro and its water quality, the duration of an overnight fishing trip and the pollution found in the river causing male fish to turn female. Together Matthews and VU had researched bicycle routes in Porto finding that the only tenable path was the riverside one to the sea. Thus this path became the score and the river’s life within and contemporary life growing and collapsing alongside, the source for the libretto. The libretto and twelve songs were written by Matthews except the fisherwomen songs which are adaptations from Scottish and Portuguese folk music. The lyrics were by Matthews, Carlos Costa, and Ana Vitorino(VU), with translation to Portuguese by Costa, Vitorino and VU musician, collaborator and local musical fixer João Martins.fixi audience3

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The songs and music were performed by a choir of fisherwomen from Afurada across the river, a group of children aka the Pollution choir, a rap crew, one of Portugal’s most notorious rock singers, an opera singer, some theatre students, a digital water quality professional, an elderly man and woman who never met aka the lovers, and members of NEFUP – a group of ethnographic vocalists who also adapted fiXi lyrics to two of their folk songs extraordinary harmonies.

Fixe means cool in English but sounds fish in Portuguese. Fixe sounds fixy in English. fiXi? 

The Pollution Choir w The pollution choir

VOCALISTS  ( in order of appearance)
The Fisher girls / NEFUP Núcleo de Etnografia e Folclore da Universidade do Porto
Cláudia Bastos
Helena Queirós
Márcia Santos
Paula Silva
Teresa Ruiz

The Pollution choir / Instituto Orff do Porto
Inês, João, Jorge, Luis, Manuel, Leonor, Vicente, Daniel

Avatar
Ana Vitorino

The Fisherwomen / Grupo Coral da Afurada
Rosa Maria
Maria José
Maria de Fatima
Fátima Ferreirinha
Sara Moreira
Emilia Alda

The Captain
Rui Rodrigues

The six male fish
Carlos Costa
João Martins
Arsélio Martins
Pedro Carreira
Emanuel Costa
Vitorino Neves

The Lovers
Fátima Almeida
Mário Moutinho

Rapper
André Neves

Street poet
Adolfo Luxúria Canibal

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SongTutor-Ana VitorinoAna Vitorino tutoring Mário Moutinho, one of the Lovers, for Joana’s Waltz.

MUSICIANS

João Martins – Porto musical support, enabler and collaborator, bass and soprano saxophone, laptop acústico and other instruments
Angélica Vázquez Salvi – harp
Kaffe Matthews – electro-acoustic processing, contratear , field recordings.

Additional arrangements on raps Pedro Augusto
Rap lyric adaptation – Nuno Moura

THE 12 SONIC BIKES   were commissioned by timelab, and produced by Vooruit for Electrified III 2012, to perform The swamp that was…..’  – a bicycle opera for Ghent by Kaffe Matthews.

TECHNICAL.The GPS based sonic bike  system  that enables different sounds to play from the bike in different places was first  made in 2008 for The Marvelo Project  commissioned by the Folkestone Trienniale.  Software build, Wolfgang Hauptfleisch; Hardware Alexei Blinov. This system evolved for the The swamp that was…..’  bike opera, with Beagleboards now replacing hive boxes and Dave Griffiths on software development. Dave continues on coding and tinkering with sonic bikes for Opera fiXi and more.

FOLLOW SONIC BIKE TECH EVOLUTION HERE.

TRANSLATORS
Ana Vitorino
Carlos Costa
João Martins

fiXISundaycyclistsAudience come and go in the Bike Shop.

PRODUCTION TEAM Ana Conde
Vitor Machado, João Soares, Filipé Silva, Filipé Cardosa.

With many thanks to all as well as:
Gustavo e Patricia – Sonoscopia Mário Azevedo , Pedro Vieira, Ricardo Rodrigues, Ricardo Organista, Ana Coutinho, Henrique Fernandes, João Vitorino, Alzira Matos, Senhor Domingos .

The Festival Bike Shop was at 63, Rua Infante Dom Henrique, La Ribeira, Porto

CONTACT:
kaffe@kaffematthews.net
www. kaffematthews.net
www.visoesuteis.pt

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