Double Feature of Chamber Opera Films
November 4, 2015 at 7:00 PM
The Aviva Players, now in its 40th season, invites opera goers to travel into the past and future with its “Double Feature of Chamber Opera Films” to be presented at Opera America, 330 Seventh Ave., Manhattan, on November 4. The films are “Villa Diodati” a screen version of Mira J. Spektor’s opera about Mary Shelley and the origins of her Frankenstein story, and “Libertaria: the Virtual Opera” by Sabrina Pena Young, a futuristic animated tale that may be the world’s first original machinima opera and is certainly one of the few animated comic book operas. “Villa Diodati” (:73), composed by Mira J. Spektor with libretto by Colette Inez, features the poetry of notorious Romantic poets Byron, Shelley and Wordsworth. The plot revolves around the fateful events of of 1816, when Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley penned “Frankenstein” while staying at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva with her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron. A contemporary American couple on a Swiss train find themselves thrown into the past and into the lakefront villa on the dreary summer day when Mary Shelley is creating her monster. Later that night, Mary will be haunted by her creation and also by the ghost of her Mother, the British feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin. The famous couples fantasize of ghosts and monsters while privately facing their inner demons. Today the haunted Villa Diodati still stands as a landmark, overlooking Lake Geneva. “Libertaria: The Virtual Opera” (:55) is an electronic opera set to animation by experimental composer Sabrina Pena Young. It depicts a futuristic dystopia in which a teen named Libertaria escapes the GenTech Factory and teams up with her addict father to defeat reverse-aging geneticists with a cyborg army. The sci-fi thriller was created with Moviestorm, a program for Machinima (a style based on video game animation). Produced in 2013, it may actually be the world’s first original machinima opera and is one of the few animated comic book operas. Its score is a combination of traditional musical theater/opera, electroacoustic music and a touch of jazz, with a riveting cinematic soundtrack. Critics have called the production “groundbreaking” and “Wagner 2.0.” With: Joe Cameron, Perry R. Cook, Gracia Gillund, Jennifer Hermansky, Matthew Meadows, Kate Sikora, Gretchen Suarez-Pena and Yvette Teel.
$10, box office: SMARTTIX, 212-868-4444, http://www.smarttix.com. for more information, http://www.jsnyc.com/season/chamber_opera_films.htm
Opera America | 330 Seventh Ave. (at 29th Street), 10001 NYC