Manuel Zwerger, Carmen C. Kruse | Civic Opera Creations

European Kitchen Encounters: VR-BANIA

A Virtual Reality Project with Taste


What does virtual reality taste like? In "VR-BANIA", ears and eyes become palates. With the help of virtual reality glasses, the audience travels to the city of Verbania on Lake Maggiore (IT), where Austrian director Carmen C. Kruse and Italian composer Manuel Zwerger have set out in search of a common culinary identity in the 21st century. The recipe of the dish most frequently mentioned in interviews with fellow citizens, risotto giallo con salsiccia, is the composition in "VR-BANIA", prepared live by the Italian performers Leo Morello and Anna Piroli. From an unprecedented perspective, from the centre of the table, the audience follows how cooking movements on prepared instruments are translated into music and cooked with song and video clips of Verbania's inhabitants into an exploration of the city's culture, traditions and opinions. A performance combines the experience of this virtual reality performance with a shared risotto meal with the director and composer afterwards.

Composition: Manuel Zwerger Direction and text: Carmen C. Kruse With: Leo Morello, Anna Piroli Virtual Reality Design: Dani Hinestroza Stage design: Philipp Lossau Costume design: Vera Liulko Winner of the CROSS Award (5th Edition) Commissioned by: Civic Opera Creations Co-production with: CROSS Festival, Verbania, and Festival MAIA, Buenos Aires