Libretto by Juanita RockwellMusic by Douglas KnehansThis project is a complete re-imagining of the form and medium of opera. Using narrative in a new way that re-imagines time, culture, place and identity, our project’s very conception presents an innovation of narrative approach. Realizing this in a technologically driven, multi-culturally infused artistic framework is also key: electric cello, processed soprano voice, computer sounds and video re-imagine what opera can be—not sacrificing its wild drama, but renewing it in a way that is technologically edgy and boldly theatrical while being both economical and portable.
Our work, though clear in conception and execution, presents a challenging and complex set of questions concerning the truth of personal identity, the multi-valence of time, the impermanence of relationship, the complex narratives of the heart and time and the porous truths and untruths of memory. As a work for a solo female vocalist as the only character it disrupts one of operas most culturally inherited ‘truths’: that all stories worth telling are about the worldly and externalized exploits of men. Our work, in contrast, is about the internal questions, truths, demons and mysteries of a woman’s life and her confrontation of that life in a way that is foundationally fused with the deep organicism of earth, season and time. In many and central ways our work confronts and upends received notions of personhood, time, drama, narrative, medium and their execution in a performance project.