Festival of Voice: Opera for the Unknown Woman

Opera for the Unknown Woman is another very influential part of the Festival of Voice tour, combining science fiction, music, visuals and feminism to create an explosive performance that will make you think about the future.
I had no idea what to expect as I sat in the theatre waiting for the performance to start. It was dark and very sparkly, with a sense of uncertainty. I adore science fiction, so I was very interested to see how this would work on stage. Whoever developed the set is very talented indeed, such a clever idea to stage the unknown woman in a position that didn’t interfere with the group of women working together to save her.
As soon as the performance began I was reminded of the inequality women face in the world, from less pay to more extreme rulings such as rape and genital mutilation. I think we spend far too much of our time worrying about our food shopping or what outfit to wear to the theatre (yes, that was me yesterday!) when actually, what we should concern ourselves with is the fate of the human race.
Here are a few statistics to get you into the right mindset before I talk more about the Opera…
1. On average two women a week are killed by a violent partner or ex-partner in the UK
2.Women account for 70% of the population living in absolute poverty
3. An estimated 66,000 women in England and Wales in 2001 had been subject to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and at least 24,000 girls were at risk of FGM in 2007.
4. 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not yet considered a crime.
(facts and figures taken from dosomething.org and ukfeminista.org.uk)
So when you watch women from all over the world come together to save the life of the unknown woman, you start to think about the inequalities, the danger, the violence and the extreme unfair situations women are subjected to every single day.
The conversation between the women are fascinating, combining music, words and choreography to produce a thought-provoking movement in the form of an opera. It very much reminded me of the Beat Generation; questioning this world, this life and this version of humanity.
The strength of the many women, the powerfulness of their souls and the beauty of their voices was simply breathtaking. Right the end, when the male voices rise into a crescendo of ‘togetherness’, there is a sense of wholeness, a sense that we can work together for a better future.
It made me sad, empathetic, angry but mostly, as I walked out of the theatre, I felt empowered. Because, no matter what we think, we are not alone…
Disclosure: I was given free tickets to this event in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *