Who: Paul An, Hai-Ting Chinn, Zachary James, Joan LaBarbara, Adrian Rosas, Kamala Sankaram, Joel Marsh Garland
What: Livestreamed opera from Here Arts Center
Where: Here Arts Center Facebook page and Zoom link (limited capacity beginning fifteen minutes before showtime)
When: Friday, April 24, 1:00, Saturday, April 25, 7:00, Sunday, April 26, 3:00
Why: Here Arts Center will be presenting what it is calling the “first ever Zoom opera” this weekend, a fifteen-minute production created specifically for the streaming platform. The team behind the 2019 multimedia Here show Looking at You have joined forces again for all decisions will be made by consensus, featuring music by Kamala Sankaram, libretto by Rob Handel, and direction by founding artistic director Kristin Marting. The opera, which deals with a Zoom meeting of activists, will be performed by Paul An, Hai-Ting Chinn, Zachary James, Joan LaBarbara, Adrian Rosas, and Sankaram, with special guest Joel Marsh Garland. “With the current health crisis and its related cancellations, artists have found themselves trying to find new ways to connect with their audiences,” Sankaram said in a statement. “As always with new technologies, adapting traditional models can be an uneasy fit. So, I began this project with a question: What would happen if you created a piece specifically intended to be performed live over a conferencing platform like Zoom? The result is an experiment, an absurdist comedy, and a first answer to that question, hopefully leading to new ways to connect in this new world we've found ourselves in.” There will be three free performances, April 24 at 1:00, April 25 at 7:00, and April 26 at 3:00; I got a sneak peek at a tech rehearsal, so I can say I’m indeed looking forward to the final version, especially since I’ve also had my fair share of Zoom meetings and am well aware at how strange they can get.