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  • The Industry Presents
    The World Premiere Of

    Crescent City
    , A Hyperopera

    Set Within Cityscape Installations By Six LA-Based Contemporary Artists

    Thursday, May 10 – Sunday, May 27, 2012


    At Atwater Crossing in Los Angeles

     

    LOS ANGELES, CA – February 2, 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 LA-based installation artists. 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 http://theindustryla.org/tickets/ starting April 1, 2012.  Performances are suitable for audience members 12-years-old or older.  Collaborating visual artists include Mason Cooley, Brianna Gorton, Katie Grinnan, Alice Könitz, Jeff Kopp and Olga Koumoundouros – all members of the vibrant Los Angeles art scene.  On Friday, May 11, 2012, 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).

    
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 Wickersheimer – www.sawgirl.com
    – Costume Designer – Ivy Chou
    – Lighting Designer – Elizabeth Harper – www.eharperdesign.com
    – Sound Designer – Martin Gimenez
    – Video Designer – Jason Thompson
    – Technical Director – Eric Nolfo

    Visual Installation Artists –

    – Mason Cooley – http://masoncooley.blogspot.com
    – Brianna Gorton – http://briannagorton.otherpeoplespixels.com/home.html
    – Katie Grinnan – http://www.artnet.com/magazine/features/honigman/honigman8-4-04.asp
    – Alice Könitz – alicekonitz.com
    – Jeff Kopp – http://redlingfineart.com/artists/jeff-kopp
    – Olga Koumoundouros – www.vielmetter.com/artists/olga-koumoundouros.html

    Timur & the Dime Museum (photo credit: Sandra Powers)

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

    The Los Angeles artists creating new installation works for Crescent City are:
    1) Olga Koumoundouros (photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer)
    2) Katie Grinnan (photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer)
    3) Jeff Kopp (photo credit: Fredrik Nilsen; courtesy of Redling Fine Art)
    4) Alice Konitz (photo credit: Gene Ogami)
    5) Mason Cooley (photo credit: Josh White)
    6) Brianna Gorton (photo credit: Brendan Threadgill)
    Please note: Works shown are representative of these artists’ sensibility, though not the actual Crescent City installations.

    Posted on February 2nd, 2012 lynn-hasty No comments

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