In 2015, global warming threatens the nation of Frizngård – a monarchic state of less than 1,000 inhabitants situated on a floating iceberg in the Arctic Sea. Well-intentioned activists try to rescue the country, but their presence on the iceberg only increases its temperature and accelerates the melting.
Frizngård, an extremely poor country that has little contact with the outside world, happily welcomes the newcomers because of an age-old prophecy that the melting of their nation will fill the Arctic sea with alcohol. As they observe the strange customs of these foreigners, they innocently steal several souvenirs including a computer with a DVD of The Wizard of Oz inside. The country’s inhabitants, who have never seen neither a computer nor a movie, are flabber- gasted. They demand that their national theater troupe perform an adaptation of the film that respects the country’s ancient theatrical and musical traditions.
Sit Ozfårs Wysr (The Wizard of Oz in Frizn) is this show, and culture clash is the order of the day. First and foremost, the Frizn theater company must make an adaptation of a story they do not understand. This is made more difficult by the fact that the style of the Great American Songbook is completely lost on them, leading to endless musical contortions. The two central characters, Dörty and her dog Ttö, must bridge a significant species barrier to understand each other. Outside the action proper, the translators have no clue what the troupe is doing and create a hilarious banter of half-truths and pseudo-intellectual musings in the subtitles that accompany the show.
This recasting of the story has allowed the composer, Mike Solomon, to take all available liberties. Like a jazzman, he snatches up bits of the original melodies and explores their infinite musical permutations. His radical and innovative writing, both technically fluent and virtuosic, shakes up musical norms with joy.
With this sort of approach, Sit Ozfårs Wysr is a show that sweeps you away. Situated between swing and contemporary music, the five singers transform their voices into veritable instruments. It’s sensational and not only vocally. We’re not talking about a simple concert but a work of total art. With the aid of director Jeanne Béziers, also on stage, the singers become actors as well. Video, French and English subtitles (completely wacky as you may have guessed because, as we find out, the translators speak absolutely no Frizn), costumes, props, sound effects… I can assure you that the audience will have their eyes and ears full.
Anne Mourier, L'indépendant
The word "reinterpretation" cannot even begin to describe what the Frizn players have done to Victor Fleming's film. Yes, we see Dorothy, Toto, the witch and all of the other characters, including the tornado. But the troupe steals from the burlesque, the operetta, gospel, ballet and jazz and has a great time breaking the rules. All of this in a production dripping with every sort of humor including, of course, black humor.
Ricardo Abdahllah, La galerie du spectacle
Before the project exists, composition starts for a radical adaptation of Somewhere Over the Rainbow in Viitasaari.
The idea is born in Dunkirk and theensemble 101 agrees to bring it to life.
Jeanne Béziers and macompagnie join the band.
La clef des chants selects Sit Ozfårs Wysr for inclusion in its 2015—2016 and 2016—2017 seasons.
Five works from Sit Ozfårs Wysr are performed at the IRCAM.
Thanks to the generosity of Christine Souillard and her team in Saint-Omer, Sit Ozfårs Wysr is performed for the first time!