Gavin Bryers: "The production was a revelation. Andreas Mitisek's production involved having two singers play the part of Marilyn, that is the part was divided between them (and occasionally they sang in unison). One was the more introspective, melancholic Marilyn, the other being the outgoing, vivacious star. They were on opposite sides of the stage, separated by a sideways-on dressing room mirror, except for the final, posthumous scene, when they came together.
He also used many film devices such as projections of old footage, still photographs, but most originally he had the two singers who make up the small choral element, The Tritones, carry small video cameras. The images from these camers showed close ups of the live action and were themselves simultaneously projected on to screens and gauze. ... I played the on-stage jazz bass part, though only for the first night...
What he has done here is very, very beautiful and really interesting."
This production, designed and directed by Andreas Mitisek, contains a twist. Both previous productions featured just one singer as Monroe, but Mitisek decided that two were needed, one for the public persona of Monroe (Chamberlin) and another for the private, Norma Jeane role (Bond). The success of this concept was seen in the audience reaction — several people said afterward they couldn’t imagine the piece with just one Marilyn. The two Marilyns give the story depth. –– Press Telegram
Andreas Mitisek... said this regarding the Marilyn vs. Norma Jeane theme he hoped to achieve: “To more deeply understand this polarity and explore the inner struggle, I decided to cast Marilyn with two performers who will represent her public and private persona.” –– Signal Tribune
Director Mitisek's innovation is to divide the role of Marilyn between two singers, one for the brightly hued public star and one for the vexed and troubled private woman.
Mitisek splits the stage as well. A lighted makeup table serves as divider, the public life playing out largely stage right (in front of the jazz trio) while stage left alludes to the guest house bedroom in which Monroe's body was found. Public Marilyn begins the opera in her bedroom, before quickly passing over into the world. Private Marilyn emerges, rather unexpectedly, from beneath the rumpled bedclothes, and never leaves her room with its scattering of old photos and the company of a motley assortment of flasks and bottles. At the opera's end, the two personae rejoin, seated on the bed, still alone but alone together.
Kudos to Mitisek’s direction, Intriguing is the use of cameramen on stage who film in real time the actors and the details of the bedroom in which Marilyn swallowed the fatal barbiturates. Cast on large screens, these images overshadow and attempt to overpower the actors. There is a certain perversion in seeing Marilyn’s personal objects, a voyeurism in carefully panning the pills on her bed stand.
Marilyn Monroe: Danielle Marcelle Bond
Marilyn Monroe: Jamie Chamberlin
Rehearsal Director: Lee Gregory
The Tritones: Robert Norman and Adrian Rosales
Conductor: Bill Linwood
Video Designer: Adam Flemming
Light Designer: Dan Weingarten