‘Bloody Cabaret’ Redefines Music and Performance In Self-titled Debut


The Bloody Cabaret Ensemble. (Courtesy Bloody Cabaret LLC)

By Whit Fuller, Arts Writer


On March 30, 2021 Bloody Cabaret made its self-titled debut, both as an original musical and film project. It was created by University of Utah School of Music alumnus and composer Kagan Breitenbach, American Idol finalist Megan Joy and guitarist Quinn Allman as well as the collective of artists who brought said project to life. Their debut album and subsequent performance video utilize original music and lyrics drawn from a host of creatives to communicate themes of love, heartbreak, death, and the macabre. It features a blend of classical, folk, and rock music that creates an exciting and ominous atmospheric experience. 

A Unique Performance

The video performance is told in 14 chapters that are representative of different songs on the “Bloody Cabaret” album. It begins with “Ascension” — a part rock, part classical composition that utilizes Breitenbach and Joy’s vocals to begin a dreamy and compelling narrative. A string quartet featuring local musicians John Shin, Jesse Massey, Sunny Johnson and Lauren Posey accompanies the trio during the performance, and the collaboration lends itself beautifully to the tone of the composition. 

In total, “Bloody Cabaret” is the collaborative vision of nearly 60 musicians and was recorded in various locations across the world. “This project started with experiences of love, death, and heartbreak and the shared desire to express these experiences through music,” Kagan said on behalf of the trio. “It was originally created as a live concert experience but found itself transforming into a recorded album as the world fell apart and shut down in 2020. These songs are our deepest expressions of death and life through loss and love. We hope to invoke raw emotion in people, perhaps leading to a release and healing in a tender heart and soul. May we all overcome our sorrows through shared emotional expression, understanding, and love.”

As a piece of art, “Bloody Cabaret” is certainly unique in its ability to tell a story through audio-visual collaboration. If the goal of an artist is to move an audience, Bloody Cabaret’s central trio has certainly done just that. 

A Cabaret in Review

After being immersed in the experience of “Bloody Cabaret,” I came away feeling awe and relief — both at the creativity displayed and the powerful vulnerability present in each chapter of the performance. Pieces such as “Pain” and “Limbo” resonated with me for their honest depictions of struggle, repeating cycles and inner turmoil. The performances are gripping and the lyrics translate so beautifully through the compositions of each song. “Moon” was a deeply moving, beautiful ballad that left me thinking of how simple and complex love can be. The title track “Bloody Cabaret” is equal parts perseverance and honesty, with light and soulful undertones that create a singular and unifying experience. 

When all is said and done, I still find myself going back to the performance and reflecting on the emotions that I felt. It is a testament to the creative ability of artists and the importance of using artistic expression as a means to find healing and closure. “Bloody Cabaret” is an instant 5/5 star experience. With originality, vulnerability and a versatile supply of talented creatives, Bloody Cabaret is setting a new standard for everything that music and art can be.

You can listen to “Bloody Cabaret” on all major music streaming services or view the performance video on their YouTube channel or website. More information on the group can be found on Instagram and Twitter.


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