Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A Night At The Opera

Laura stopped by the Artsgarden today to help me with the lighting for tomorrow's opera performance. An actual excerpt from our conversation:
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Laura: "This backlight color looks a little harsh for a dream sequence. What's the dream about?"
Jeff: "Dead babies."
Laura: "No, really."
Jeff: "Dead babies."
Laura: "... What the hell is this opera about, anyway?"
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It's about Biafra's attempted secession from Nigeria in 1967 and the resulting humanitarian crisis and mass starvation. Not cheery, but hey: it's opera. The author, John Sherman, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Biafra at the time; he was one of the emergency evacuees, and he wrote a book about the experience. He wrote the opera as part of his Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council. The music is composed by Nathan Bloom, who also works for the Chamber Orchestra and the Indianapolis Youth Wind Ensemble. The score is excellent, the libretto is opera-quality, the musicians are talented, and the production overall isn't bad for a sixteen-minute excerpt. Showtime is 7pm on Wednesday December 6. It's a free performance, so feel free to drop by and catch a few minutes (that is, the whole opera).

I should also mention that I'm a bit nervous about the lighting. I don't do much lighting design, and I'm not very good at it. I'm a techie, not an artist, and it shows when I dabble in things artistic. But I think the opera lighting will be adequate. I'm glad Laura helped me choose colors, since I'm especially bad at that. But I try hard; can I get an effort grade for the lighting?

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