If someone said let’s see a Jazz Metal Opera. I’d look confused for a second then I would be all in. That’s exactly what happened when I saw La Suspendida, “The Suspended Woman,” in Long Island City New York at The Phaxall Gallery’s Culture Lab for a three-night residency. It’s an innovative Opera that combines the best of Jazz and Metal music. This groundbreaking concert combines three seemingly different genres into a unique and dynamic sound that will be sure to wow audiences. The drama is based on a notorious incident in history where a doctor’s obsession with a young patient of his was so great that he kept her body as his lover after her untimely death.
La Suspendida is a unique production that merges Jazz and Death Metal to tell the tragic story of María Elena, from an original libretto by William Berger. The opera explores the narrative of María Elena’s journey after death, as she fights for her freedom and self-determination. Set to a score composed by instrumental Jazz Metal three-piece, Kilter featuring Laurent David (bass), Kenny Grohowski (drums), and Ed Rosenberg III (saxophone) with their haunting jazz melodies and thrilling death metal riffs, and lyrical solos from Andromedia Anarchia who performs as María Elena, our protagonist of this story. The stringed quartet, seven)suns, and additional vocals from The Growlers Choir.
La Suspendida is a captivating and powerful experience. Through the music and vocals, audiences are taken on an emotional journey that tells the story of María Elena’s struggle and her ultimate triumph. It has a moment of traditional jazz, then it will swing into a death metal musical section into a free jazz wanderlust. In addition to Kilter, the musicians performing included Andromeda Anarchia, Seven)Suns, The Growlers Choir, and Matt Hollenberg, we were also treated to a dance/ acting storytelling of the events from Fanny Coulm and Yatuka Nakata. Which leads to a full-on suspension from the ceiling and along the wall. So much is going on, they incorporated a projector with lyrics and scene changes.
The exciting performance of La Suspendida will be sure to leave its mark. If I had the chance I would have watched it again and there is so much to absorb. When they announce more shows don’t miss this out.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY OMAR CORDY