Contemporary Opera

In Performance: p r i s m (Prototype)

p r i s m Composed by Ellen Reid Libretto by Roxie Perkins Directed by James Darrah Music Directed by Julian Wachner Prototype, La MaMa January 6-12, 2019 CW: Sexual assault, rape, PTSD p r i s m is an opera about trauma. It is an exploration of coping, of recounting – of learning how to heal, how to find language again. We begin in a white, cut out square of a room. Our two characters lie asleep in bed dressed in long white gowns that speak of an imaginary mental hospital. Two walls are cut away to allow us into the cramped and intimate world of mother and daughter, psychological abuser and abused. Lumee at first seems to be taking care of her daughter Bibi – and Lumee is the one keeping her locked in this small room – but we quickly move into a ripping vocal exchange as Lumee blames, caj...

In Performance: Pancho Villa From A Safe Distance (Prototype)

Pancho Villa From A Safe Distance Composed by Graham Reynolds Libretto by Largartijas Tiradas Al Sol Directed by Shawn Sides Prototype, BRIC January 5-9, 2019 Walking into Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance, you see an expansive spread of instruments arranged in a cluster taking up most of the stage: a double stacked keyboard, a full drum set, an electric guitar, a tuba, a double bass, a cello and a violin. Interspersed among the musicians, tables are covered with photographic paraphernalia, live cameras and a video footage of the yet-to-be-introduced ‘El Tigre.’ The work begins with an explosion of sound as a fusion of rock and roll and more recognizable styles of operatic singing fuse with latin rhythms joyously ringing together. This bilingual experience rotates between songs in Spanish ...

In Performance: Gordon/Artman/Fish, Acquanetta (PROTOTYPE)

Upon entering the auditorium in the Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, the audience is met with a larger-than-life projection screen. Its big size makes a big impact--as does its light color amidst the rest of the stage, which seems shallow and dark. But there are hidden depths to that stage and they surprise throughout Acquanetta, an opera inspired by a 1940s actress of the same name who kept much of herself hidden, too.