LA Opera Off Grand presents world premiere of p r i s m by Ellen Reid and Roxie Perkins
Four performances at REDCAT: Nov 29 through Dec 2
(Los Angeles) November 12, 2018 — LA Opera Off Grand presents the world premiere of a new work by composer Ellen Reid and librettist Roxie Perkins: "p r i s m."
This kaleidoscopic and haunting new opera, presented in collaboration with Beth Morrison Projects, explores an issue that fills today's headlines all too often: violence against women. Creative producer Beth Morrison describes the opera as "a psychological drama between a mother and daughter that deals with the aftermath of trauma. The complex female characters drawn by Roxie Perkins and the vivid, sensory musical world by Ellen Reid paint a timely portrait of the desperate lengths one is capable of going to in order to survive."
The opera will be presented at REDCAT (located at 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, 90012) from November 29 through December 2.
Please note: This performance uses explicit language and features adult subject matter. It is not recommended for children.
About "p r i s m"
The opera tells the story of an ill girl, Bibi, and her doting mother, Lumee, living together in seclusion. Locked away from the world, they try to protect each other from the dangerous illness that lurks outside their door and has already infected Bibi's legs—leaving her unable to walk. Blinded by colors and by memories new and familiar, Bibi must choose between abandoning her mother to discover the truth about her condition or accepting her mother's stories in order to hold on to the only life she's ever known.
Composer Ellen Reid described her score for "p r i s m" in a recent interview with the contemporary music blog I Care If You Listen: "This piece begins in a new music and opera sound world, then shatters in the second act into something more urban, amplified, disjunct and polystylistic."
"The music acts as a window into the protagonist’s mind," says librettist Roxie Perkins. "It vertiginously shifts from non-diegetic to diegetic sound, to sound design, to rich orchestral landscapes. These shifts mirror Bibi’s rapidly evolving understanding of her world and where she fits in it."
The estimated running time is one hour and 45 minutes, performed with one intermission. Each performance will be followed by a post-performance talkback with the creative team behind the opera.
This presentation of "p r i s m" is the ninth offering in a multi-season collaboration between LA Opera and Beth Morrison Projects to present cutting-edge contemporary works. The opera will be performed in New York later this season (January 6-12, 2019) as part of the PROTOTYPE Festival.
Ellen Reid is a composer and sound artist whose work “brims with canny invention” (LA Weekly). Her work is largely collaborative and takes the form of opera, chamber music, electronic pop songs, scores for film and theater and immersive interactive media. Her work has been hailed as “ineffably moving” by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times, “radiant” by Alex Ross of the New Yorker, and that her vocal writing would “make you believe that the mythical sirens really existed” (KCRW). Upcoming and recent projects include a 45-minute commission for the Los Angeles Master Chorale, an orchestral work for Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, two commissions from the LA Philharmonic in one season, music for the feature film Buster’s Mal Heart starring Rami Malek, and a sound installation for HBO. Notably, she is the only composer to have received commissions from all four of the major musical organizations in Los Angeles: LA Opera, the LA Philharmonic, LA Master Chorale and LA Chamber Orchestra.
Librettist Roxie Perkins is an artist who writes, directs and designs for theater, opera, television and digital mediums, creating multi-disciplinary work that explores the stories people tell themselves in order to survive. Her work has appeared at The Tank NYC, The LARK’s Roundtable Reading Series, Berkeley Repertory School of Theatre, UCLA's MFA New Play Festival, On The Verge Summer Repertory Theater, The Shed Gallery Beverly Hills, and HERE Arts Center as part of Downtown Urban Theater Festival. She was awarded a Sundance Playwright Fellowship and was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill National Theatre Conference as well as the Princess Grace Award. She directed Green Umbrella: Theatre of the Outrageous, a program of three short operas performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Mezzo-soprano Rebecca Jo Loeb, who makes her LA Opera debut as Lumee, recently made debuts with the Teatro Municipal de Santiago as the Schoolboy/Groom in Lulu and with Theater Freiburg as Susan in Kurt Weill’s Love Life. She also returned to the Deutsche Oper Berlin as the Second Maid in Elektra and appeared with the New York Festival of Song in Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles on tour to Arizona Opera and Wolf Trap. She also made debuts with the Metropolitan Opera as Flora in La Traviata and with the Cologne Opera as the Fox in The Cunning Little Vixen. She spent five seasons as an ensemble member of both the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Hamburg State Opera.
Soprano Anna Schubert, who makes her LA Opera debut as Bibi, made her solo debut with the LA Philharmonic earlier this year in Bernstein's Mass. She subsequently reprised that performance for her Lincoln Center debut when Mass was presented at the Mostly Mozart Festival. She is a frequent soloist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Also in Los Angeles, she performed the role of "L" in Anne LeBaron's scenes from LSD: The Opera with The Industry, later reprising that role in a more complete staged version at REDCAT. In 2017, she made her debut with Opera Omaha as the Controller in Jonathan Dove's Flight.
This production of "p r i s m" will also feature a vocal ensemble from New York's celebrated Choir of Trinity Wall Street.
The Creative Team
The conductor is Julian Wachner, leading an ensemble of musicians drawn from the LA Opera Orchestra. The director is James Darrah and the creative team includes sound designer Garth MacAleavey, choreographer/assistant director Chris Emile, set designer Adam Rigg, costume designer Molly Irelan, and lighting designer Pablo Santiago-Brandwein.
Performance Dates and Times
There will be four performances of "p r i s m" presented by LA Opera at REDCAT (631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, 90012):
• Thursday, November 29, 2018, at 8pm
• Friday, November 30, 2018, at 8pm
• Saturday, December 1, 2018, at 8pm
• Sunday, December 2, 2018, at 2pm
Tickets are on sale now. Tickets cost $69 and can be purchased online at LAOpera.org, by phone at 213.972.8001, or in person at the LA Opera box office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012). For disability access, call 213.972.0777 or email LAOpera@LAOpera.org.
About LA Opera Off Grand
The world premiere of "p r i s m" is presented under LA Opera's Off Grand banner, which complements the company's mainstage programming through a wide variety of artistic explorations in a range of venues throughout Los Angeles. To learn more, visit LAOpera.org/OffGrand.
About Beth Morrison Projects
Beth Morrison Projects supports today’s most creative talents working in the fields of opera and music-theater. To date, BMP has commissioned, developed and produced more than 40 works that have been presented around the globe. Learn more at BethMorrisonProjects.org.
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) is a contemporary arts center for innovative visual, performing and media arts located inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. For more information about REDCAT, please visit REDCAT.org.
For additional information about this presentation, visit LAOpera.org/prism.
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LA Opera Off Grand made possible by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Additional support from a consortium of generous donors to
LA Opera's Contemporary Opera Initiative, chaired by Barry and Nancy Sanders
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects in association with Trinity Wall Street. Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and Elizabeth & Justus Schlichting. Commission supported in part by OPERA America's Opera Grants for Female Composers, funded by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation; The Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trust; and National Endowment for the Arts - Art Works. Developed by Beth Morrison Projects, Lyric Theatre @Illinois, Arizona State University School of Music, Trinity Wall Street, and PROTOTYPE Festival.
LA Opera is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the greater Los Angeles community.
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LA Opera Media Contact:
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