Jun 9th 2022

A Pre-Performance Artist Talk

The writings of Marie-Madeleine (pen name of Baroness Gertrud von Puttkamer) are full of ecstatic highs and terrible despairs, with sensational depictions of lesbian eroticism and narcotics. Likewise, her life contained both the heights of scandalous success in early 20th-century Germany, and her mysterious but tragic death in a Nazi sanitarium. Her rediscovery is a welcome revival, in the form of a 2016 publication, translating her works to English for the first time, which inspired the creation of “The Priestess Of Morphine”, a chamber opera by Rosśa Crean and Aiden Feltkamp. Subtitled “A Forensic Investigation Of Marie-Madeleine”, the work uses powerful song and a twist on the monodrama format to explore her inner and outer worlds. What else does it mean to investigate such an individual through opera?

In this pre-concert talk, members of the creative team (and new music collective Sound Of Fools) will discuss the process of bringing their restaging of the opera, and Marie-Madeleine, to life.

The performance will take place at the International Museum Of Surgical Science on June 17 and 18th.

Moderator: Ben Zucker

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