Resurrection (a bad copy)
R&D Showing: 12.06.23 at Ufer Studios Berlin
Concept, Design, Performance Crispin Lord
Sound Josh Mellard
Lighting Rob Prideaux
Mentoring Sheena McGrandles, Jessica Aszodi
In Resurrection (a bad copy) the artist presents an encounter with the score of Peter Maxwell Davies’ music-theatre/opera work Resurrection (1963-87). The original story follows a mute inflatable dummy boy who, following extensive harassment and critique from his family and other worthy pillars of society, explodes. These same performers transform into a team of surgeons who reconstruct him in their own fascistic image, triggering his resurrection into a giant monster now complete with a machine-gun phallus that he uses to murder both his family/surgeons and the audience. At the piece’s climax comes a second resurrection, this time of the antichrist, and everything is consumed in an infernal apocalyptic light.
Davies’ score is rich with symbolic imagery, highly detailed performance directions and complex, poly-stylistic musical writing that borrows from pop, experimental classical, church music and more. Deemed somewhat of a flop by opera critics and audiences, it has received only a handful of public outings since its premiere in 1987, and only once ever in its original language. Resurrection (a bad copy) is a work-in-progress showing of how the artist is interpreting the compositional and dramatic strategies (in-/deflation, explosion, polystylism and so on) in Davies’ original score, asking, what does a faithful or excellent production look like? What emerges is a (failed) attempt to follow the instructions, and to revive or resurrect aspects of past performances, accidentally breathing new life into a score now detached from the opera context that rejected its first birth.