Continuing in her firm’s tradition of blurring the lines between architecture, art and environment, Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is producing an opera for the High Line. Dubbed the “Mile Long Opera,” the production will be set along New York’s new favorite attraction, which was designed by DS+R with James Corner and Piet Oudolf and opened to the public in 2009.
Working with composer David Lang and sound designer Bruce Odland, Diller was reportedly partially inspired to produce the opera after learning about a Chelsea resident who used to put on one-woman cabarets on her fire escape. Called the Renegade Cabaret, the shows were held as a reaction to park patrons who were increasingly interrupting the privacy of her West 20th Street apartment.
Diller’s previous collaborations with Lang include DS+R’s “Musings on a Glass Box,” which was displayed within Jean Nouvel’s Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris in 2014.
The opera would not be Diller’s first foray into theatrical production – the architect has also collaborated with filmmaker Spike Jonze to help create the settings for his 2013 film “Her.”
“In college I’d had a fantasy of being a filmmaker. I’d taken film courses at Cooper Union and then somehow detoured into architecture,” Diller told Architect Magazine in 2014. “But the film bug never really left.”