Photos: Jill Steinberg
The Ford Theatres, in association with LA Opera, present the West Coast premiere of The Hubble Cantata, an unprecedented live experience that pushes the boundaries of art and science. An astrophysicist searches for his wife in the stars. As the cosmos unfolds before him, the birth, life and death of a star echo the couples' loss of their child. With stunning images from the Hubble Space telescope, the space-inspired cantata culminates in a five-minute virtual reality film that launches the audience into an immersive voyage through the Universe. Starring Nathan Gunn and Jessica Rivera, this hour-long, space-inspired cantata features music by composer Paola Prestini, libretto by Royce Vavrek and Eliza McNitt's virtual reality film, Fistful of Stars. Through his narration, New York Times best-selling author and eminent astrophysicist Dr. Mario Livio places the characters’ story within the grand scheme of the cosmos. Music directed by Julian Wachner. Gunn and Rivera are joined in performance by members of the LA Opera Orchestra and LA Opera Chorus, along with the Los Angeles Children's Chorus.
For the virtual reality portion of the performance, cardboard headsets will be provided, expertly created by The Endless Collective, a leading VR FX firm, with a 360-degree soundscape developed by Arup, the global leaders in acoustics and sound design. This mesmerizing live experience, co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects and VisionIntoArt/National Sawdust in association with Arup, reflects Livio’s poignant themes and the powerful realization that humans discovered, explored and continue to expand the understanding of the Universe, and man’s place in it.
The Hubble Cantata received its world premiere at the 2016 BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. Eliza McNitt’s Fistful of Stars premiered at SXSW, was an official selection at Hot Docs and was featured at the Next VR Library at the Cannes Film Festival.
(Click here to read a summary in Spanish.)