Pathway: The Fluidity of Voice: Changing Gender Expectations Through Song by Carrie Barnhouse
This pathway traces the use of the falsetto in Orlando as a symbol of transformation/alteration in gendered meanings through its position as herald throughout the narrative. The voice acts as construct for the subsequent reversal of bodily gender norms. It highlights periods of transition or translation for Orlando.
Video file, Digital, Selected Scene Commentary by Sally Potter
Director's commentary-setup of gender construction/ideology for the course of the film.
Black and white A4 computer printed, Paper, Revised draft of screenplay
Male Castrati Voice-Film's Introduction
Black and white A4 computer printed with handwritten annotations, bound into book, Paper,Orlando Sally Potter’s Shooting Script page 2 front
Establishes the falsetto voice as introduction or herald for the arrival of the Queen as well as the opening of Orlando's journey. Thus, the voice functions as marker for periods of journey/transition. Additionally, its presentation without initial visual cues leaves room for gender ambiguity/play.
8x10" black and white photograph of Jimmy Somerville with flaming torch
Visual of Somerville as the herald of gender ambiguity/fluidity.
The Herald standing on boat, singing to the approaching Queen.
Jimmy Somerville Song Sequence on Boat-The voice as Herald
four men standing over Orlando who is sleeping in his bed, one is singing
Additional use of the falsetto voice as a herald to summon a sleeping Orlando post-gendered trauma.
Page 108 of revised draft script for Orlando. Black printed text on A4 paper bound with a plastic comb spine
Indication of the use of falsetto to accompany Orlando's gender transition.
Revised draft script for Orlando, black printed text on white A4 paper with annotations in pencil, page 73 front
wig and nightshirt discarded on bed
The beginning of the gender transformation sequence. The music choice stated above, i.e. the falsetto voice, is presented in a more feminine manner than in the previous sequences. The male falsetto voice is not the voice of transition in this scene.
close up shot of bowl filled with water
Continuation of the gender transformation sequence.
Orlando seeing herself nude in the mirror as a woman, side profile
The conclusion of the gender transformation sequence.
Black and white A4 Text Document, Digital, Finished screenplay as published by Faber and Faber
The re-emergence of the falsetto through the angel, i.e.:the literal embodiment of the voice as herald. The angel is the herald of gender construction/reconstruction, the vocal embodiment of gender ambiguity through the straddling of the binary.
Shot from Orlando's daughter's point of view through video camera, shot of Herald appearing from behind tree foliage
Final Transition Sequence-Somerville as Angelic Herald