ACE [artist curated event]

Presented by University of Redlands Opera and Long Beach East Village Caravanserai

Premiered November 3, 2021 (Happy Birthday Godzilla & V. Bellini)

soundpedro pre-show (time 00:00:00)
Prelogue (00:06:00)
Troubador (00:08:00)
Prologue (00:09:15)
Tybalt’s Aria (00:11:41)
Soundscape (00:16:15)
Romeo’s Aria (00:18:33)
Soundscape (00:21:32)
Juliet’s Aria (00:23:12)
Soundscape (00:32:18)
R & J Duet (00:33:57)
Soundscape (00:49:19)
R & J Duet (00:51:29)
Soundscape (01:11:2)
Fathers’ Lament (01:13:06)
Credits (01:16:38)
Outro (01:17:42) 

PDF of Program Notes
PDF of Libretto Adaptation

In the early 20th Century, rebuffing the mischief and stagnation wrought and brought on by Western culture, two Italian artist groups called for, by opposite means, a new type of animism and an “anti-anthropocentric humanism.“

The Italian Crepuscular poets longed for the absorption of our bodies into nature, thereby emancipating humanity’s left-behind objects towards a state of unobjectified “thingness.”

The Italian Futurists called for the absorption of the human body into technology.

The Crepusculars extolled rest and moony existence; the Futurists promoted speed and ever-changing dynamism.

This virtual opera presentation explores these two tendencies and the tensions between them.

Futurist Synthetic Theatre jumbled symbols, concepts, abbreviated plots, and language towards sensory overload and obscurity as a self-sufficient goal. 1 minute versions of Shakespeare and a 45 minute version of Richard Wagner’s Parsifal embedded in noise feasts, manifesto readings, and audience provocations were among their techniques. 

Crepuscular poetry rebelled against lofty poetics, declaring the love of inert simple things. The melancholic retreat of bodies and objects towards decay and “still lifeness”, by way of disease and erosion, were deemed positive transformations. 

The story of Romeo and Juliet is suited to a Crepuscular-Futurist treatment. Through the rapid three-day course of their relationship, and by their self-dissolution, the young couple moves towards undermining “passéist” cultural structures. As a story about social distancing, it’s perfect for this COVID moment. 

Corona in Verona blends Futurist synthetic theatrics and crepuscular atmospherics as it combines lo fi and hi fi video and sound collected and engineered on multiple devices by students and professionals.

In Corona in Verona, Vincenzo Bellini’s opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi (flayed and filleted), is part of a mashup of flash manifestos; soundscapes (incorporating Futurist intonarumori) along with abstracted video-imaginings of a Crepuscular-Futurist conspiracy to dismantle human hegemony. As wet markets and Italian leather herald contagion, and as technology scrubs up through the “hygiene of war,” into Nature and into Technology we are absorbed.

As an alienation device, eye-ear alignments are sometimes blocked or unsynched so as to make us aware of what it feels like to hear or to see, rather than to spectate. Meanwhile, rebelling against anthropocentric notions of meaning and order, semiotics and symbols fly like shrapnel for their own enjoyment. Mutants, be they Delta or -zilla, call the shots. Poison = Dharmaceuticals…

Corona in Verona is an experience for its own sake and not entertainment, for ours.

In addition…”In the crepuscular and futurist poetics, love itself, as a relation connecting a wide range of bodies, genders, sexualities, and identities, is recast into a broad discourse of change. This new narrative of love, while setting in opposition patriarchal regressive views and feminist responses, also unfolds a new type of material ‘grand solidarity’ that reenvisions love as a feeling or a deep sound of interconnectedness pervading the universe.” *

(*Danila Cannamela)


Troubador: Crawford Banks
Prologue: Victoria Bryan
Tybalt, Juliet’s fiance: Gabriel Quintero
Romeo, a Montague: Anna Caplan
Juliet, a Capulet: Anna Forget
Lord Capulet, Juliet’s father: Anthony Lauro
Lord Montague, Romeo’s father: Marco Schindelmann

Intro, Opera, Outro Videos: Sheri Ki Sun, Wabi ‘Sloppy
Soundscape Videos: **Don’t Touch & Raphael Satkovsky
Mise en scene: Terry Braunstein, Sheri Ki Sun, Judy Kepes, Tom Villareal
Video post production at ‘possumRun studio
Recording, editing, mixing: Brad Andrews
Orchestra recording: Jace Elliot, Jake Quijada

University of Redlands Orchestra
Under the Direction of Co Boi Nguyen
VIOLIN Ian Kaminski, Jace Elliott
VIOLA Vincent Francis
CELLO Anthony Schnell
BASS Fatima Baeza
FLUTE Christopher Figueroa
OBOE Gilbert Camacho
CLARINET Jose Becerra
BASSOON Diego Hammond
TRUMPET Hannah Gaugush
FRENCH HORN Gloria Aranda
TROMBONE Marcelo Aguinaga
PERCUSSION Tim Laguna, Abigail Mellado

Singers’ Music Preparation: Malcolm Swan

University of Redlands Opera History Class (2020): Marcelo Aguinaga, Alexia Benson, Joseph Candelaria, Katherine Duran, Anna Forget, Anthony Lauro, Justin Lee, Hannah Shaffer, Jamison Stevens, Willian R Torres, Colin Ward

Special Thanks: Quartetto Andreis, Kamran Assadi, Phoebe Barnum, Donald Brinegar, Adam Denlinger, Kay Erickson, Patty Gee, Karen Holden & Eric Farnsworth, Betsy Lohrer-Hall, Fritz Schaetzler, Cindy Snyder, Melissa Tosh

**FYI, Contributors:

Crawford Banks is an actor, film director, writer, and musician who hails from San Antonio, Texas. He currently is involved in theatre and feature filmmaking in the Southern California area.

Don’t Touch is a thing, a qweirdo, & a Biological Other

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