Award winning cabaret legend Le Gateau Chocolat is… your toilet attendant. Juxtaposing one of the highest art forms with the lowest of places, Le Gateau Chocolat will create a challenging, provoking opera piece where you least expect it: in the opera house toilets. This toilet opera will explore ideas about immigrants and migration, drawing on his own Nigerian background, blurring the boundaries between art and service, artist and attendant.
Internationally toilet attendants are typically ethnic minorities, performing thankless, underpaid work while still being accused of stealing jobs from nationals. The toilet opera will explore this phenomenon within the current political, socio-economic climate.
Le Gateau Chocolat says –
When clubbing in the late 90s and early 00s, the toilet attendants of these establishments were almost always black and more often than not, Nigerian. My euphoric high often dissipated as I engaged with their reality - an un-chosen but necessary reality: one of 2 or 3 jobs to survive.
They however, all still have dreams.
I would like to explore a fantastical world where they discovered opera and for a moment; the piece would capture the evolution of this dream by morphing items, objects; the toilet itself into a world stage; cubicles with musicians, hand drying machines for soundscape, exploring what Strauss, Wagner, Mozart might sound like if fused with west African/Nigerian sounds.
Only to have this fantastical moment shattered by a request for perfume or paper towels to dry the hands of clubbing patrons.
In development Le Gateau Chocolat will work with composers to layer African themed music on popular opera music. Wearing a frock made of cleaning material like jay cloths (as attached for reference), Le Gateau Chocolat will serenade the bathroom goers while performing the role of a toilet attendant, dabbing perfume, and handling towels. Experimenting in the space of the opera’s toilets and audience interaction, with a view to expanding to a full, stage version of the piece, recreating the setting.
We are currently seeking partnership who can provide the space and context needed to create a boundary-blurring piece of music theatre, exploring themes that are of the utmost relevance.
For further information on Toilet Opera or other Le Gateau Chocolat work, please get in touch below: