Matias Vestergård: Lisbon Floor

Matias Vestergård’s Lisbon Floor is a dark and funny horror opera with hostile mould stains, an artificial womb and a jungle of house plants. 7 roommates move into a haunted, derelict luxury high-rise apartment block that has seen better days. Lisbon Floor is premiered at Copenhagen Opera Festival with performances on 26 and 27 August.

With an ensemble of seven characters in numerous comical entanglements, Lisbon Floor pays homage to a classic Mozartian style, while at the same time, playing with the traditional conventions of opera.

"The characters all undergo a transformation and become more and more insane along the way, and then it ends super bloody. Like a series on Netflix called American Horror Story," Matias Vestergård has explained in an interview with the Danish newspaper Information. "It's horror, but it's also too much in a comical way. For me, basically watching an opera is an absurd experience. At least that was a premise for me: That there is something fundamentally comic and silly about it. And then the fact that you are trapped in this claustrophobic universe that the opera genre is."

Lisbon Floor takes place in a run-down luxury skyscraper, where the floors above the 49th floor are named after capitals because the residents would otherwise feel unsafe at the dizzying heights. The ensemble of characters who have moved onto the Lisbon floor includes, among others, a bitter academic, a woman who is very into the role-playing game Warhammer and the couple Alex and Alex, who take turns carrying their future child in an external womb. They end up in numerous comic entanglements and at the same time have to deal with houseplants that start to grow uncontrollably and the strange mould stains that appear as faces on the walls.

Image: Jason Southgate
Image: Jason Southgate

Matias Vestergård created Lisbon Floor in close collaboration with author and librettist Lea Marie Løppenthin and director Natascha Metherell. He has collaborated with the author Lea Marie Løppenthin for a number of his works, including his first opera, TITANIC. She has been a great source of inspiration for him since he first read her poems, as he explains: "Her texts contain a great mix of something lyrical, something extremely silly and something profound. These are all elements in my personality, but previously I have struggled to figure out how to embrace this in my music.”

Lisbon Floor is commissioned by Copenhagen Opera Festival.
Performances take place at Takkelloftet, The Royal Danish Opera

Friday 26 August 19:30
Saturday 27 August 14:00 & 20:00

Find more information about the performances here >>

On the same day that Lisbon Floor is premiered, a new album featuring chamber works by Matias Vestergård is released. The album Idylls, elegies is recorded by Esbjerg Ensemble and released by Dacapo Records.

Find more information about the album here >>