Transcendence is motion. Falling into the sublime is motion. Both are the sweet effects of BLISS, the soul-soothing paean by acclaimed Icelandic multi-disciplinary artist Ragnar Kjartansson.
BLISS replays three sublime minutes of The Marriage of Figaro with the same cast and same orchestra without pause for twelve hours. The scene, in which Count Almaviva pleads for, and ultimately wins, the Countess’s forgiveness, features some of the most heavenly music Mozart composed. BLISS creates the feeling of an eternal looped moment of repentance and grace, of free-falling in sublime transcendence in this immersive experience.
BLISS will mark the first live performance being performed in the iconic Michigan Building Theatre since its conversion to a parking center, breaking a fifty-year performance hiatus in the space. Audiences are invited to come and go as they please, staying for 12 minutes or all 12 hours, with a “pay what you can” admission. This site-specific re-staging of the work by MOT Artistic Director Yuval Sharon aims to capture a state of wonder as sublime music and a landmark Detroit gem meet.
What is this? Is this an opera? Another garage? Will I have to drive through like Twilight: GODS? Whose crazy idea is this? These questions and more are answered in our handy BLISS FAQ. Click the button below for some frequently asked questions and the answers!
From the Press
This is only the THIRD time the piece is being produced – NYC (2011), LA (2019), and now Detroit – which solidifies how the city of Detroit continues to be a bastion of culture in the United States.
Here’s what the press has said in New York and Los Angeles:
“Believe it or not, there is bliss in ‘Bliss.’ Stick with it for a while and you can become infantilized into believing that redemption, however unreceptive our current culture, is the only way of the world.” – Mark Swed, LA Times | LA Production (2019)
“After settling in — and even though we know exactly what music and lyrics are coming — the transportive magic takes over. Rather than becoming tedious or exasperating, the repeated passage becomes ever more meaningful, and deeply touching, revealing nuances and new emphases. FILM of LA Production (2021)
Winner of the 2011 Performa Biennial in New York, the Times’ Roberta Smith called “Bliss” a work in which “the audience, the performers, the ingeniously recycled material and the space itself merged into something that felt new and whole.” New York Times