“Nietzsche famously castigated Euripides for killing the tradition of the chorus in Greek tragedy, because the audience no longer had music to inform its comprehension. He even felt that Euripides caused the death of tragedy itself by trying to make it too Socratic, too rational.
“The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” might be the ultimate vindication for Nietzsche, especially as performed by Quantum Theatre, which has created a new and stunning kind of multi-media chorus that he would have loved (and Socrates would have hated).
Based on the book by neurologist Oliver Sacks, this 1986 opera tells the story of Sacks’ encounter with a special case, referred to as Dr. P — a music professor and painter— who suffers from visual agnosia, a neurological condition of optical impairment which causes him to perceive the world aurally. As the Sacks character, called Dr. S, observes, “He looked at me with his ears not with his eyes.””
by Stuart Sheppard, Pittsburgh QuarterlyButton Text