During the coming year, Opera Parallèle will present two contemporary operas, each involving innovative approaches to presentation. The first of these will be Everest: An Immersive Experience, composed by Joby Talbot, working with a libretto by Gene Scheer. The second will be a new production and orchestration of Paul Moravec’s opera The Shining, setting a libretto by Mark Campbell based on the novel by Stephen King.
Scheer’s libretto accounts for an ill-fated 1996 effort to ascend to the peak of Mount Everest. Creative Director Brian Staufenbiel has conceived a staging that fuses the vivid imagery of graphic novels with the visceral power of the operatic voice, both of which inhabit a multi-sensory environment. This will be the first production of its kind in which the audience will experience 360-degree animated visuals and surround sound. The immersive staging will begin with an expansive interactive lobby installation, which will lead individuals to their seats after navigating a snowy tundra. All of the participating vocalists will be pre-recorded. They will include Sasha Cooke, Nathan Granner, Kevin Burdette, Hadleigh Adams, Charlotte Fanvu, Matt Boehler, Shawnette Sulker, Whitney Steele, and Kevin Gino. Scheer’s English libretto will be projected as subtitles.
This production will be given nine performances. The opening will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, February 3; and admission will be by invitation only. The remaining performances will take place at [added 1/18, 2:40 p.m.: 5 p.m. and] 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 4, Wednesday, February 8, Thursday, February 9, and Saturday, February 11, and at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, February 10, with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday, February 5, a 2 p.m. matinee on Wednesday, February 8, and a 1 p.m. matinee on Sunday, February 12. The venue will be Z Space, on the outer edge of the Mission at 450 Florida Street. Nicole Paiement will conduct all performances. A single Web page has been created for all ticket purchases. General admission will be $50, with a $20 rate for students with valid identification and a “Pay-It-Forward” charge of $75.
The new version of The Shining is a co-production of Opera Parallèle with the Hawaii Opera Theater and the Portland Opera. The participating vocalists will be Edward Parks, Kearstin Piper Brown, Aubrey Allicock, David Walton, Nathan Granner, Timothy Murray, Eugene Brancoveanu, Christabel Nunoo, and Molly Mahoney. Once again, the production will be staged by Staufenbiel, and Paiement will conduct. The performance will take place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts with performances on June 2, 3, and 4. Further information will be made available when tickets go on sale this coming January 9. A Web page has been created for hyperlinks, which will be added to provide that information.