Imagine that through modern technology we no longer feel pain, we no longer grow old and ugly and we no longer die. Will machines have defeated humans? In a macaber fairytale, Ulrike Quade and Romain Bischoff take a close look at the engineered human. Their inspiration is Oscar Wilde’s novel: ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’.
After a diabolical experiment, Dorian Gray becomes immortal by changing place with his portrait. As the years go by he remains a perfect, young god, while his image on the painting deteriorates. What initially appears to be a hedonistic celebration, ends up a nightmare.
In this performance on the borders between opera, visual theatre and technology, Dorian Gray is no nineteenth-century dandy. Together with librettist Marcel Roijaards and composter Leonard Evers, Quade and Bischoff recreate him as a contemporary perfectionist. He is immaculate and immortal thanks to modern technology. After this new evolutionary step, we are left with one question: What of humanity remains after we are freed from decay and death is no longer inevitable?
You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul. — George Bernard Shaw
Dorian Gray premiered in October 2018 at Theater Bellevue, Amsterdam.