80WSE Gallery at NYU Steinhardt, in partnership with the celebrated Berlin-based CHEAP Kollektiv, will stage a radical reinterpretation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute, December 1-5.

Photo of performance artist Vaginal Davis
Performance artist Vaginal Davis writes and stars in a radical reinterpretation of Mozart's The Magic Flute at 80WSE Gallery, Dec. 1-5.

80WSE Gallery at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, in partnership with the celebrated Berlin-based CHEAP Kollektiv, will stage a radical reinterpretation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute as part of its winter 2015 programming.

The project will consist of two parts, with part one being an Open Rehearsal in the form of an opera in six steps, to be performed December 1-5, 2015. The production process and performance will then be utilized as raw material by filmmaker Michel Auder, who will present “A Film in Pieces” as 80WSE Gallery’s Summer exhibition, on view from June 8 - August 13, 2016.

The production critically transforms Mozart’s celebrated 1791 musical drama through re-imagining and disordering the narrative of the original opera in to a series of six tableaux vivant, combining elaborately constructed installations with performed sequences and live music. It amplifies the subversive alternatives to humanism already quietly suggested in Mozart’s music and Schikaneder’s libretto, staging an intervention in an ongoing conversation concerning the nature of humanity. The production’s libretto and imagery refract contemporary politics through radical strands of Early Modern philosophy in order to learn more about the conditions that our current moment has inherited from the Enlightenment.

Attendance to the live performance is by reservation only and is free of charge, though audience capacity is extremely limited. To make a reservation, email 80wsefrontdesk@nyu.edu.

The Magic Flute was written by Vaginal Davis, directed by Susanne Sachsse, with original score by Xiu Xiu, which will be performed live by NY Choral, the Horkheimer Arkestra, and Jamie Stewart. Jackie Shemesh serves as lighting designer, with dramaturgy by Roger Mathew Grant. Production design is by Jonathan Berger, Jesse Bransford, Damien Davis, Michael Forrey, Jessica Garcia, Ben Hatcher, Sawyer Mitchell, Hugh O'Rourke, and Various Projects Inc., in collaboration with NYU Steinhardt BFA students Ian Alcock, Johanna Asgeirsdottir, Victoria Browne, Helen Chu, Callie Cramer, Eleanor Gollin, Yuki Hamada, Sonja Haroldson, Juliette Hayt, Melissa Karine Jacobs, Giani Jones, Susannah Liguori, Haley Long, Daniel Mock, Marta Murray, Phoebe Randall, Aidan Romick, Paula Rondon, Harlie Rush, Anjelica Russell, Rebecca Salmon, Beverly Terry, Joshua Toor, Reba Kittredge Tyson, Jerry Wilson, Miranda Zhang.

Performers include Ian Alcock, Chris Blue, Alex Casso, Vaginal Davis, Kellian Delice, Roger Mathew Grant, Jennifer Miller, Dave Perrett, Susanne Sachsse, Zachary Schoenhut, Manuel "Vicki Baum" Schubert, Aliza Shvarts. Supporting cast students from The New School for Public Engagement include John Arnold, Harry Charlesworth, Zachary Clause, Izzy Cohan, Sorcha Fatooh, Jacquelyn Gallo, Eitan Goldstein, Helayne Kushner, Luisa Moreira De Alcantara, Julia Moses, Patricio Schmiegelow, Brownwen Williams, and Jametria Wright. The performance was facilitated by Ricardo Montez and Joshua Lubin-Levy.

80WSE Gallery will be closed to the public for the month of November, allowing the 3500 square foot space to function as a residency site for the collaborating artists, students, singers, performers, and musicians to realize the piece collectively. The Magic Flute is made possible through the generous support of the 125th Steinhardt Anniversary Grant, the New York University Arts Council, NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality, Department of Performance Studies, NYU Steinhardt Office of Global Affairs, NYPAC - the New York Performance Artists Collective, The Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, and in collaboration with Goethe-Institut and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art.

80WSE Gallery is located at 80 Washington Square East, between West 4th Street and Washington Street. For more information about The Magic Flute, please contact the gallery at 212-998-5751 or email 80wsefrontdesk@nyu.edu.

About CHEAP Kollektiv
Founded in 2001, the CHEAP Kollektiv is a performance, music, film, art and action group based in Berlin, Germany. The collective’s core collaborators include actress Susanne Sachsse, film historian Marc Siegel, translator Daniel Hendrickson, and artist Vaginal Davis. The CHEAP Kollektiv has mounted numerous productions throughout the world, including collaborations with Bruce La Bruce, Rick Owens, Ronald Tavel, Mario Montez, Wilhelm Hein, Holly Woodlawn, Narcissister, Hans Scheirl, Jakob Lena Knebel, and Carmelita Tropicana among many others.

Press Contact

Shonna Keogan
Shonna Keogan
(212) 998-6796