09/05  | 20:30
    10/05  | 18:00
    11/05  | 20:30
    12/05  | 18:00

€ 16 / € 13 (-25/65+)
FR / EN / Farsi > NL / FR

Meet the artist after the performance on 10/05

Unfolding at the point where opera, documentary film, and installation meet, Mitra is an emotional tale of taboos, oppression, resistance, and solidarity based on the experience of Iranian psychoanalyst Mitra Kadivar. In Teheran, Kadivar dedicatedly helped people with mental health issues, leading to her detainment in 2012, as a punishment for her professional practice. Filmmaker Jorge León loudly resounds Kadivar’s isolated cry of resistance, together with Ictus Ensemble and Muziektheater Transparant. Her veracity is evidenced through the eye of the camera, the intonation of the voice, the timbre of the music. Mitra is a daring performance that portrays a tragic archetype of female heroism and illustrates both the resilience and the fragility of humankind. Penetrating.

Concept & direction
Jorge León 

Eva Reiter 

Composition chorus
George van Dam  

Musical supervision
Georges-Elie Octors 

Isabelle Dumont  

Thibault Van Craenenbroeck  

Silvia Hasenclever  

Mitra Kadivar & Jacques-Alain Miller 

Claron McFadden  

Simone Aughterlony  

Laurenz Schäfer  

Aliocha Van der Avoort  

Jorge León, Aliocha Van der Avoort & Thomas Schira     

Quentin Jacques, Pierre Armand, Etienne Graindorge

Light design
Peter Quasters

Sound design
Alexandre Fostier 

Recorded music & performed by Ictus Ensemble
Michael Schmid (flute), Gerrit Nulens (percussion), George van Dam (violin), Eva Reiter (Paetzold recorder & bass viol) 

MM soloists ensemble of De Munt / La Monnaie
Hanna Al Bender, Gwendoline Blondeel, Raphaële Green, Logan Lopez Gonzalez, Pierre Derhet (Doctor), Kamil Ben Hsain Lachiri

Choir coach
Polina Bogdanova  

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, De Munt / La Monnaie  

Muziektheater Transparant & Ictus 

Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Théâtre de Liège i.k.v. IMPACT, De Munt / La Monnaie, Present Perfect vzw, The GMEM Marseille, Actoral Marseille en Les films de Force Majeure 

With the support of
Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles, International Film Festival Marseille FID, Camargo Foundation, IRCAM, CNC DICRéAM, Thank you & Good Night Production, Interreg V Euregio Meuse Rhin, Wallonia & Tax Shelter van de Belgische Federale Overheid & Österreichisches Kulturforum

Special thanks to
Aurélie Deloche, Julie Chenot, Fabienne Moris, Jean-Pierre Rehm, Bernard Foccroulle, Paul Aron, Anne-Lise Gobin, Ferdinand du Bois, Michael Lynch, Aurélie Bardaji, Bruno Münger, Boris Münger, Natacha Belova, Elisabeth Dégremont, Françoise Dodo, the residents and the caregivers of the Centre hospitalier Montperrin in Aix-en-Provence

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In 2014, the film-maker and director Jorge León made Before we go, a daring cinematographic proposition filmed at De Munt / La Monnaie in which three people close to the end of their lives met choreographers, actors and musicians to share a unique experience questioning death through dance, music and silence. 

In the project Mitra, of which this stage version is the first part (the second part is a film currently being edited), this time Jorge León combines cinema, opera and performance to give a voice to a cry for help from a woman who has been incarcerated and kept in isolation.

This woman’s name is Mitra Kadivar and she is a psychoanalyst from Tehran. In December 2012, she sent an SOS to a French colleague, Jacques-Alain Miller, who in a series of email exchanges attempted to get her released from the psychiatric hospital where she had been confined. Based on this gripping correspondence, Mitra gives an account of this woman’s fight to be heard and bears witness to the resistance of our humanity, fragile but rebelling against everything that crushes it.

With Mitra, we’re confronted with a powerful and subversive female figure…

Jorge León The ethics of solidarity puts each protagonist in these exchanges at risk and in a difficult position. Their moral code requires them to get involved. It’s one of the main focuses to come out of these email exchanges. Yes, Mitra is in the process of losing, but she doesn’t lose her cool and can count on others who sympathise with her to help her out… It doesn’t mean having a happy ending, but proposing an “uncompromising” woman as an opera character, a woman who accepts her destiny, craves justice and never sees herself as a victim seems to me more important than ever.

The music and vocal score are the core of this stage version.

It was written by Eva Reiter, with George Van Dam producing the choral parts, and then recorded by the Ensemble Ictus and six young singers from the MM Academy. What particularly interests me in this musical transcription is that it goes beyond the timelessness of the myth. To transform a prosaic document, i.e. correspondence on the net, into a stage proposition that flirts with codes from opera. To extend the range of words by the magnitude of the singing. In any case it’s not remotely about a journalistic or documentary interpretation of these exchanges. At the same time the composition is inspired by elements from Mitra’s reality, from her words turned into an aria. So it’s about creating the ideal conditions for the spectator or listener to experience the impact of the words as close up as possible, both in terms of their meaning and their ability to have an impact on the senses.

You’re offering the audience a space of immersion combining sound, words, images and live performance.

The device attempts to achieve a circulation of and balance between these different forms of expression. It creates a tension in the materiality of the body, of voices on stage and the immateriality of the digital exchanges, the spatialised music and images projected on screens. Simone Aughterlony and Claron McFadden take it in turns and complement one another to embody the power of being and the desire for justice when these are under threat.

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Jorge León studied film at the INSAS in Brussels. He soon became interested in the practice of documentary-making. He has crossed paths with  many great performing artists (Olga De Soto, Meg Stuart, Benoît Lachambre, Simone Aughterlony et al.). This led to numerous joint artistic projects. His most recent productions - Before we go (2014), Vous êtes servis (2010) and 10 min. (2009) - have been widely shown on the international festival circuit and have been awarded many prizes (including the FIPRESCI Prize, the prix de la critique internationale, in 2015). Parallel to the screening of Vous êtes servis at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels, León presented Deserve, a play created in collaboration with Simone Aughterlony. They developed their collaboration with the production UNI*FORM, which premiered at the Theater Spektakel in Zürich in 2015. The scritpt for the film version of  Mitra - was awarded at FIDLAB in Marseille. The film itself is in the midst of editing.

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