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: Sarah Kane/Philip Venables, 4.48 Psychosis (Prototype)

4.48 Psychosis Sarah Kane/Philip Venables Prototype, Baruch Performing Arts Center January 5-12, 2019 Sarah Kane’s classic 4.48 Psychosis takes a stirring, operatic turn in Philip Venables’ adaptation, currently playing at the PROTOTYPE festival after a sold-out run at the Royal Opera House in London. The opera uses a variety of inventive means to bring Kane’s words about death to life, with a mix of sung, spoken, slurred, and projected text. The accompanying music, performed by the ensemble Contemporaneous that is situated hauntingly above the stage, intensifies the anger and pain of the play. In a series of especially effective exchanges, the dialogue between the central, suicidal figure (played by Gweneth-Ann Rand) and her psychiatrist (played by Lucy Schaufer) are not spoken at all. In...

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 ...