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  • The Industry Presents The World Premiere Of
    Crescent City, A Hyperopera
    Featuring Innovative Cityscape Installation Sets
    By Six Notable LA-Based Artists
    Thursday, May 10 – Sunday, May 27, 2012
    At Atwater Crossing in Los Angeles

    Sets Created By Visual Artists: Mason Cooley, Brianna Gorton, Katie Grinnan,
    Alice Könitz, Jeff Kopp & Olga Koumoundouros

    LOS ANGELES, CA – March 19, 2012 – The Industry presents the world premiere of Crescent City, a hyperopera by composer Anne LeBaron and librettist Douglas Kearney, under the direction of Yuval Sharon, from Thursday, May 10 to Sunday, May 27, 2012 at Atwater Crossing in Los Angeles.  The massive new site-specific production, which audiences will experience in 360-degrees, is set in a mythical cityscape with abstract sets by an extraordinary group of six installation artists.  Collaborating visual artists include Mason Cooley, Brianna Gorton, Katie Grinnan, Alice Könitz, Jeff Kopp, and Olga Koumoundouros – all notable members of the vibrant Los Angeles art scene.  The installations will be on view on select days for the run of the production, then transformed in the evening with performances of the opera.  For more information, www.TheIndustryLA.org.

    With a gala opening of the opera on Thursday, May 10, 2012, Crescent City will run for three weeks, Thursdays through Sundays, closing on May 27, 2012.  All performances begin at 8:00pm.  Ticket prices range from $25 to $100 and will be available via www.TheIndustryLA.org/tickets starting April 1, 2012.  Performances are suitable for audience members 12-years-old or older.  On the following night, Friday, May 11th, The Industry will host an artists’ reception on set, inviting guests to see the installations up close. Installations are on view to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays from noon to 6:00pm, with guided tours hourly during the run of the production. Atwater Crossing is located at 3245 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039 (www.atwatercrossing.com).

    Cityscape Set Installations – left: Mason Cooley’s “Good Man’s Shack” model right: Brianna Gorton’s “Cemetery” model


    The Art of Crescent City -

    In one of the most stunning aspects of the production, Crescent City‘s talented design team will collaborate with six of Los Angeles’ most exciting visual artists to transform Atwater Crossing’s 25,000 square foot industrial warehouse space with an extreme landscape. The participating installation artists are:

    Mason Cooley –
    Sculptor Mason Cooley lives and works in Los Angeles.  He received his MFA in 2000 from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. His work has exhibited at Beacon Arts, Angles, China Art Objects and High Desert Test Sites in the Los Angeles area, Swiss Institute in New York, Royal College of Art in London, and the Cologne Art Fair in Cologne, Germany. He has taught at Art Center College of Design, California State University Long Beach, and the University of Southern California.  He was also a visiting artist at University of California in Riverside.  His work has been reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, i-D Magazine, and LA Weekly. For Crescent City, Cooley is designing the set for “Good Man’s Shack.” http://masoncooley.blogspot.com

    Brianna Gorton –
    Brianna Gorton lives and works in Los Angeles. She has a BA in English from UC Berkeley, a Post Baccalaureate in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and an MFA from Art Center College of Design (2011). Gorton also has a background in modern dance. She studied Martha Graham technique at UC Berkeley and Cunningham Technique at the Cunningham School in New York. She has performed at venues such as Grand Performances in Los Angeles and the Bowery in New York. Her sculptural work explores modes of theatricality. Sculptures transform the space of the gallery into a kind of stage, acting as prop, character, costume, and creating functional settings. Her work has been exhibited at galleries such as Workspace, Los Angeles and the Sam Francis Gallery, Santa Monica. Gorton is currently working as curator and associate artist for The Industry.  She is designing the “Cemetery” set. http://briannagorton.otherpeoplespixels.com/home.html

    Katie Grinnan –
    Katie Grinnan was born in Richmond, Virginia and received an MFA from University of California in Los Angeles in 1999. She has had solo exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria in New York, the Aspen Art Museum in Aspen, Colorado, and at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles. Grinnan has been included in many group exhibitions, including the 2004 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Real World: The Dissolving Space of Experience at Modern Art Oxford in Oxford, England, and The Artist Museum at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. Her work is included in collections at MOCA, the Hammer Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has been awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and a Pollock-Krasner grant. She lives and works in Los Angeles and is represented by Brennan and Griffin Gallery in New York. For Crescent City the “Junk Heap” set is Grinnan’s design. http://www.artnet.com/magazine/features/honigman/honigman8-4-04.asp

    Alice Könitz –
    Alice Könitz was born in Germany. She received Masters degrees from California Institute of the Arts and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Her work has been exhibited at the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Villa Arzon in Nice, LAX Art Los Angeles, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, and many other places. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. Her work is featured in the catalogue The Shape of Things to Come: New Sculpture by the Saatchi Gallery, and other publications. She currently lives in Los Angeles and will be designing the “Swamp” set for Crescent City. http://alicekonitz.com

    Jeff Kopp –
    Jeff Kopp was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and is currently based in Los Angeles.  He received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford.  His work takes on various forms including sculpture, photography, intervention, and text.  Often subverting the language and visual devices of signage, Kopp is interested in “objects that draw attention both to and away from themselves.” He has exhibited throughout North America at venues including Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, and Western Front Exhibitions, Vancouver. Recent group exhibitions include Behind the Green Door, Harris Lieberman, NY, and The Secret Knows: A LAND Exhibition, Virgin Mobile Freehouse, Austin, TX.  He was recently commissioned to produce a permanent, large-scale public artwork for Culver City’s Art in Public Places Program.  He is represented by Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles. Crescent City’s “Hospital” set is being designed by Kopp. http://redlingfineart.com/artists/jeff-kopp

    Olga Koumoundouros –
    Olga Koumoundouros designed the set for the “The Dive Bar” in Crescent City.  She was born in New York City and lives and works in Los Angeles.  She received her MFA from the California Institute for the Arts.  Koumoundouros’ work has been exhibited at venues nationally and internationally including Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), Salt Lake City Art Center, The Studio Museum of Harlem, Stadshallen Bellfort, Bruges, Belgium and the Hammer Museum, among others. www.vielmetter.com/artists/olga-koumoundouros.html

    Cityscape Set Installations – left: Alice Könitz “Swamp” model  center: Olga Koumoundouros’ “Dive Bar” rendering  right: Katie Grinnan’s “Junk Heap” model


    More About Crescent City

    In the wake of a devastating hurricane, Crescent City is a shell of its former self where the few remaining inhabitants struggle for survival.  The bad waters of an impending new storm wake up the notorious ghosts of the city’s past, including the legendary voodoo goddess Marie Laveau (played by Gwendolyn Brown).  Marie pleads with the awakened voodoo gods to save the city.  They agree to come to her aid on one condition: they must be able to find one good person among the ragtag and desperate citizenry.  Crescent City becomes a travelogue in search of the one who will make the city worthy of salvation.

    Anne LeBaron’s hybrid sound world encompasses an otherworldly brew of electronica, bluegrass, jazz, and improvisation. The production includes a live 16-piece orchestra (including Timur and the Dime Museum) with such diverse instrumentation as laptop, chromelodeon, and shakuhachi.

    Audience members will be seated in and around the city, seeing and hearing the action in every other part of the city through live video streams and sophisticated sound technology.

    “I’m excited by the different ways audiences will be able to experience the work,” says Director Yuval Sharon. “Letting imaginations run wild when the space is open during the day should increase people’s curiosity about how the opera plays out by night.”

    To listen to “The Nurses’ Scene,” an excerpt from a Crescent City workshop performance at New York City Opera’s VOX in 2006, please click http://theindustryla.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Crescent-City-excerpt-nurses.mp3.

    A detailed synopsis of Crescent City can be viewed at http://www.annelebaron.com/Crescent_City_synopsis.pdf

    Hyperopera –
    Hyperopera, a concept that has evolved in LeBaron’s work and teaching at California Institute of the Arts, is a mega collaboration bringing together artists from many different disciplines.  Crescent City unites not only the creative voices of the writers and producers, but also contemporary visual artists with the set, lighting, video, and sound designers.  Crescent City is LeBaron’s most ambitious experiment with this theory to-date.

    Crescent City Credits –
    - Composer – Anne LeBaron – www.annelebaron.com
    - Librettist – Douglas Kearney – www.douglaskearney.com
    - Director – Yuval Sharon – www.yuvalsharon.com
    - Conductor – Marc Lowenstein
    - Producer – Laura Kay Swanson
    - Curator – Brianna Gorton – http://briannagorton.otherpeoplespixels.com/home.html
    - Set Designer – Sibyl Wickersheimerwww.sawgirl.com
    - Costume Designer – Ivy Chou
    - Lighting Designer – Elizabeth Harperwww.eharperdesign.com
    - Sound Designer – Martin Gimenez
    - Video Designer – Jason Thompson
    - Technical Director – Eric Nolfo

    Cast –
    The cast of 18 includes:
    - Marie Laveau – Gwendolyn Brown – http://www.gwendolynbrown.com
    - The Good Man – Cedric Berryhttp://www.cedricberry.com/Cedric_Berry/Home.html
    - Deadly Belle – Timur Bekbosunovwww.theoperaoftimur.com
    - Homesick Woman - Lillian Sengpiehl http://tinyurl.com/Robert-Gilder-L-Sengpiehl
    - Jesse – Ashley Faatoaliahttp://www.ashleyfaatoalia.com
    - The Nurses – Maria Elena Altany and Ji Young Yang
    - The Cop – Jonathan Mackhttp://www.jonathanmack.la/

    Anne LeBaron –
    Anne LeBaron’s compositions embrace an exotic array of subjects encompassing vast reaches of space and time, ranging from the mysterious Singing Dune of Kazakhstan, to probes into physical and cultural forms of extinction, to legendary figures such as Pope Joan, Eurydice, Marie Laveau, and the American Housewife. Widely recognized for her work in instrumental, electronic, and performance realms, she has earned numerous awards and prizes, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Alpert Award in the Arts, a Fulbright Full Fellowship, an award from the Rockefeller MAP Fund for her opera, Sucktion, and a 2009-2010 Cultural Exchange International Grant from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for The Silent Steppe Cantata.  Also an accomplished harpist, LeBaron is renowned for her pioneering methods of developing and implementing extended harp techniques, electronic enhancements, and notation in compositional and improvisational contexts.  She currently teaches composition and related subjects, such as Concert Theater and Hyperopera, at the California Institute of the Arts. http://www.annelebaron.com

    Douglas Kearney –

    Douglas Kearney’s work as a poet, performer and librettist has been featured in many fine publications and venues in print, in-the-flesh and in digital code.  His first full-length collection of poems, Fear, Some, was published in 2006 (Red Hen Press).  His second manuscript, The Black Automaton, was chosen by Catherine Wagner for the National Poetry Series and was published by Fence Books in December 2009.  In 2010, it was named a finalist for the Pen Center USA Literary Award in poetry.  In 2008, he was honored with a Whiting Writers’ Award.  He lives in the San Fernando Valley with his family and teaches courses in African American poetry, opera and myth at California Institute of the Arts. http://www.douglaskearney.com

    Yuval Sharon –

    Yuval Sharon’s directorial work has been described as “magical” (The Village Voice), “ingenious” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “a major event, where surprise sidesteps operatic convention” (Los Angeles Times).  He has worked both with international houses like the San Francisco Opera, the Mariinsky Theater, the Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria, and the Komische Oper Berlin, as well as experimental venues like Berkeley Opera, Le Poisson Rouge, and the Deitch Projects.  He was Assistant Director to Achim Freyer on the Los Angeles Ring Cycle. Sharon was Project Director for four years of New York City Opera’s VOX, an annual workshop of new American opera, which became the most important crucible for new opera in the country under his direction.  Sharon will also be directing Jessye Norman, Meredith Monk, and Joan LaBarbara in John Cage’s Song Books this March as part of San Francisco Symphony’s Mavericks Festival, which includes a Carnegie Hall performance.  The Los Angeles Times also just named Sharon a “Face to Watch” in 2012. More information is at http://www.yuvalsharon.com.

    Marc Lowenstein –
    Marc Lowenstein conducted the world premieres of several new operas including The Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth, Dice Thrown, WET, The Scarlet Letter, and The Peach Blossom Fan, as well as the American premieres of R. Murray Schaefer’s Loving and Georges Aperghis’ Sextuor.  For four years, he conducted with the New York City Opera’s new music festival VOX and conducted on the Monday Evening Concert Series, with Jacaranda, the California Ear Unit, the Vinny Golia Ensemble, the Kadima Conservatory, the CalArts New Century Players, and Ensemble Green.  He was the founder and music director of the Berkeley Contemporary Opera, a company that produced four seasons of contemporary operas.  As a singer, he specializes in contemporary music and has performed over twenty-five opera roles including the premiere of What to Wear by Michael Gordon and Richard Foreman and he recently sang the American premiere of Frank Denyer’s Out of the Shattered Shadows.  Lowenstein has written a full-length opera based on the screenplay of The Fisher King and is working on two others.  He has written several shorter chamber works as well.  He occasionally moonlights as a professional whistler and amateur Klezmer clarinetist.  He teaches theory, conducting, composition and history at California Institute of the Arts.

    Laura Kay Swanson –
    Laura Kay Swanson brings a wide range of experience to The Industry. A graduate of the MFA Producing Program at California Institute of the Arts, she produced Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and was musical director and assistant producer for Hellzapoppin’, a musical adaptation based on the 1941 film.  She was the associate producer for the world premiere of the CalArts Center for New Performance production of Gertrude Stein’s Brewsie and Willie, winner of three 2011 LA Weekly Theater Awards.  She also produced and directed a music video of the aria, “Hymn to the Sun” from Akhnaten by Philip Glass, which premiered at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) in 2011 as part of the CalArts Film/Video showcase.  Other producing credits include Rain Coloring Forest at REDCAT, featuring Indonesian artist and choreographer Sardono Kusumo and lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, and The Mortal Thoughts of Lady Macbeth, a contemporary chamber opera by Veronika Krausas.  Prior to becoming a producer, she was a professional opera singer and has performed at the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, REDCAT, Carnegie Hall, and New York City Opera.

    The Industry –
    Founded by Artistic Director Yuval Sharon and Producing Director Laura Kay Swanson, The Industry produces new interdisciplinary work that merges music, visual arts, and performance to expand the traditional definition of opera.  The Industry is a recipient of the MAP Grant from The Doris Duke Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. http://theindustryla.org

    Atwater Crossing –
    Spanning five industrial buildings across two city blocks, Atwater Crossing houses an array of creative offices and studios, artisanal manufacturing facilities, locations for photography and film shoots, theaters showcasing original productions, LEED platinum loft homes and Atwater Crossing Kitchen, serving wood-fired, Mediterranean-inspired fare.  Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner (atxkitchen.com).  Public programs, events, and workshops feed the evolving culture and community of ATX.  Learn more at http://www.atwatercrossing.com.

    Links –
    - Website – www.TheIndustryLA.org
    - Image Gallery – http://gallery.me.com/lynnhasty#100277
    - Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Industry/124606140952622
    - Twitter – TheIndustry_LA
    - YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/TheindustryArts
    - Tickets – http://theindustryla.org/tickets/  (sales start 4/1/12)

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    For more information, images, or to request interviews, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

    Posted on March 19th, 2012 lynn-hasty No comments

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