Five Octave Range, a single channel video work by Paul Wong edited from his four channel site specific outdoor installation of the same title proposes a democratizing and queering of the opera, a primarily elitist art form. The work features four performers with diverse octave ranges, a baritone, tenor, coloratura soprano and mezzo singer, who were asked to demonstrate their skills for the camera in free form without any rigours of form or instruction placed upon them. Wong's emphasis is on the gripping affect of operatic overtures that is able to transcend its own exclusivity. Paul Wong further experiments with the recorded performances, by digitally exaggerating and manipulating their overwhelming quality, mutating it into a futuristic form that can be accessed by all—the seasoned opera goer, and non-traditional audiences - actualizing his conviction that art really is more democratic than the circuit it is often allowed to traverse.
Commissioned by Vancouver Opera Festival