The Suspended Woman
A Jazz Metal Opera
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María Elena Milagro de Hoyos, a beautiful 22-year-old divorcee from Cuba, dies of tuberculosis in Key West and find herself in Limbo. From behind a large wall, Shades of the Realm of Death take note of the hours on Earth: It is sunrise along the Atlantic Coast of the Western Hemisphere, where the souls of all who died in The Americas the previous day gather for their journey. The Shades call forth the newly dead by name to enter their gates. When they call María Elena, she thanks them for their invitation, but tells them she prefers to remain outside the gates, suspended between the realms of the Living and the Dead. They tell her this is impossible, but she says they're wrong: she utilizes the fresh infusions of seed the still-living Tanzler, the doctor who treated her condition. Tanzler's sexual obsession with her didn't die when she did, and now she's using his acts of necrophilia to keep herself suspended between the realms of Life and Death. The Shades are shocked and confused by this aberration. María Elena explains that it&aposs actually even stranger than it appears. She tells them that Tanzler had, long before, had a dream-visitation from his grandmother, a Countess who died before he was born. The Countess promised to give him something never before given to anyone – an ideal woman who didn&apost even yet exist. When Tanzler met María Elena years after that vision, he instantly recognized her as the Promised Ideal. As he loved her before she was born, now he loves her after she died. Unseen, he infuses María Elena once again with seed, to the indignant disgust of the Shades. They demand she submit to the eternal laws. Their arrogance triggers her rage, recalling a lifetime of being ordered about by authorities, familial and official. She makes a bold demonstration of her newfound power and dares the Dead to watch as she dominates Tanzler and commands more of his seed from him. This extraordinary encounter is too much for Tanzler, and his climax proves fatal. María Elena is deflated to hear his name called in the next roll call of the newly dead. What can she do now, abandoned, once again, by a man? She grows weak without the seminal infusion from a living man, and soon she hears her own name called once again to the Gates of Death. She laments her loss of power and uniqueness, but she is consoled by the Dead: She has had her moment of complete self-determination, and there is no shame or regret now in joining the others. Feeling the truth of their words, she moves toward the Gates, having come to a point where it is acceptable to die like everyone else.
- Laurent David, bass, composition, production
- Ed RosenBerg III, bass saxophone, composition, arranging
- Kenny Grohowski, drums, composition
- Andromeda Anarchia, vocals
The Choir Of The Dead:
- created and led by composer Pierre-Luc Senécal
- Marie Claude Fleury
- Maude Theberge
- Jeff Mott
- Samuel Arseneau-Roy
- Laurent Bellemare
- Earl Maneein, violin
- Blanca González, violinn
- Fung Chern Hwei, viola
- Jenny DeVore, cello
- William Berger
- Fanny Coulm
- Yutaka Nakata
- Antoine Delecroix, sound design
- Elodie Letaeron, video
Filmed and recorded at
CULTURE LAB LIC
Thanks to Tana, Tess and Edjo for your help!