Dada Divas: Jacqueline Bobak’s Experimental Opera at REDCAT

Dada Divas

Photo: Mark Bobak

On Saturday, Feb. 8, REDCAT presents the world premiere of Dada Divas, an experimental opera by Jacqueline Bobak, faculty in The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts.

Created by Bobak, an acclaimed veteran singer and composer, Dada Divas unearths and celebrates the works and lives of the Dada movement’s historically neglected female pioneers, including Emmy Hennings, Mina Loy, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, among others. 

Drawing on elements of Dada, Futurism, variety shows, opera, experimental music, and performance art, Dada Divas comments on the status of women, immigration, drug addiction, war, consumerism, and other concerns that are as pressing today as they were when Dada erupted a century ago. 

Said Bobak about her inspiration for Dada Divas:

In their time, the women of Dada were insurgent creative forces to be reckoned with. Presenting an opera based on their works and lives is incredibly timely given the current sociopolitical climate and interest in rectifying gendered historicity. The women of Dada and their ideas are relevant, inspiring, and provocative still today. The Dada Divas are artistic ancestors whose voices modern women restore into conversations that demand attention.

After previews in Mexico, the Czech Republic, and San Francisco, this rendition marks the premiere of the complete work, performed by a Los Angeles-based team of CalArts talent, including the virtuoso singers Bobak, Sharon Chohi Kim (Music MFA 14), Micaela Tobin (Music MFA 16), and Meltem Ege (Music DMA 17).

Bobak, a music artist and educator committed to creating, interpreting, and teaching adventurous music made with and for the voice, has taught in The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts since 1991. She has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe, including the Audio Art Festival in Kraków, Poland; the Festival Vértice in Mexico City, and the Dada World Fair in San Francisco.

In 2015-16, she designed a class at CalArts around her Dada Divas research project called Dada Divas, Then and Now: Poets, Paramours and Performers. The yearlong course allowed CalArts students to immerse themselves in the Dada Divas research and culminated in the student-generated performance RUBBISH, celebrating 100 years of Dada through the lens of contemporary women.

Event Details

Dada Divas: An Experimental Opera by Jaqueline Bobak

Saturday, Feb. 8, 8:30 pm
631 W. 2nd St., Los Angeles

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