Online Video Opera: Home Sweet Home

Hundreds of singers, musicians, dancers, beat boxers, poets, and visual artists from Rotterdam are creating an online opera about homesickness and longing, distance and feeling-at-home. Home Sweet Home will be broadcast in six instalments between Thursday 21 and Saturday 30 May 2020 from Opera Dagen Rotterdam.

Home Sweet Home was to be the grandiose urban fest at Afrikaanderplein in Rotterdam South that would kick off Operadagen Rotterdam’s 15th edition (21 through 30 May). COVID-19 upended those plans. Yet, Operadagen Rotterdam has continued with this city project online, together with the many enthusiastic participants. As artistic coordinator Rajiv Bhagwanbali explains,

“The original idea to bring together a lot of people from various communities and with different backgrounds has only changed to the extent that we are now working online. Singers, musicians, and dancers are given tasks to carry out at home and make their own videos on a phone or camera. We will use all of the images and crossovers for an online opera, presented as a six-part video series. A record of this period in time.”

Home Sweet Home is a cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary online opera, which was filmed in living rooms and on balconies, in gardens and on pavements. It presents narratives of ‘home’ as a prison, a warm nest, the centre of the universe. It covers distance and longing and the power of boundless imagination.

Various organisations from Rotterdam contributed to Home Sweet Home including the Afro/Hip hop/Caribbean dance school I Am Movement, the SKVR Brass Band, and the House of Urban Arts. On top of this, Operadagen Rotterdam has invited several other festival guests to join. Among others, the festival is offering an (online) stage to the soprano Claron McFadden, actress/singer Meral Polat, and theatre maker Gabby Bakker.

Home Sweet Home will be broadcast in six instalments between Thursday 21 and Saturday 30 May 2020 at and through OPEN Rotterdam’s networks.


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