Photo Flash: First Look at Ted Hearne's Digital-Age Oratorio THE SOURCE at SF Opera Lab

Photo Flash: First Look at Ted Hearne's Digital-Age Oratorio THE SOURCE at SF Opera Lab

SF Opera Lab presents composer TEd Hearne's universally acclaimed digital-age oratorio The Source, drawn from the contents of Chelsea Manning's WikiLeaks release and called "some of the most expressive socially engaged music in recent memory-from any genre" by Pitchfork. Previously performed in New York City and Los Angeles, the six performances of The Source this weekend, February 24-26, and March 1-3, 2017 at the Dianne and Tad Taube Atrium Theater open Season Two of San Francisco Opera's SF Opera Lab programming. Scroll down for a first look at the production!

The work for four singers and an ensemble of seven musicians features a libretto by Mark Doten that sets Manning's words and primary-source documents, including sections of the classified material known as the Iraq War Logs and the Afghan War Diary. At the heart of The Source is Manning, the US Army Private who infamously leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks and whose 35-year prison sentence was commuted last week by President Barack Obama.

Doten's libretto pulls from a litany of primary source texts-including Twitter feeds, cable news interviews, personal chat transcripts and declassified military reports, all contemporary to the WikiLeaks scandal. Hearne brings this patchwork of text to life with his signature "maximalism" and collaging, "like an hour's collaboration between Witold Lutos?awski, Philip Glass, Jonathan Larson, Thom Yorke and Erykah Badu, with driving rhythms reminiscent of a Broadway style of rock 'n' roll, filtered through a computer, put on a loop, then busted open with shades of avant-garde classical or a soulful groove...the work of a true twenty-first-century polyglot" (Opera News).

As Manning's story continues to unfold, The Source's most powerful asset remains its abstraction. Produced by Beth Morrison Projects and directed by Daniel Fish, with production design by Jim Findlay and video design by Jim Findlay and Daniel Fish, The Source first premiered at Brooklyn Academy Of Music (BAM) in 2014 and received its West Coast premiere in Los Angeles in October 2016. A recording of the work was released on New Amsterdam Records to much acclaim, landing on the best of 2015 lists for both The New Yorker and The New York Times: "Hurling from propulsive small-ensemble chamber rock to eerie Auto-Tuned ruminations, Mr. Hearne's oratorio about Chelsea Manning and WikiLeaks doesn't aim to score easy political points. Instead it does what great art should: It pushes you to think and feel about the world in new ways ... 'The Source' (with a brilliant collage libretto by Mark Doten) is remarkable and essential" (The New York Times).

THE SOURCE, composed by TEd Hearne, with libretto by Mark Doten, is directed by Daniel Fish, with production design by Jim Findlay, video design by Jim Findlay & Daniel Fish, lighting design by Christopher Kuhl, costume design by Terese Wadden, sound design by Garth MacAleavey, vocal processing by Philip White, and music direction by Nathan Koci. Produced by Beth Morrison Projects.

Vocalists are Mellissa Hughes, Samia Mounts, Isaiah Robinson, Jonathan Woody. The ensemble features: Nathan Koci, keyboard; Jennifer Cho, violin; Natalia Vershilova, viola; Emil Miland, cello; Taylor Levine, guitar; Greg Chudzik, bass; and Ron Wiltrout, drums.

Price: $35 general admission. Tickets available at sfoperalab.com or by calling the San Francisco Opera Box Office at (415) 864-3330.

Photo Credit: Stefan Cohen

high res photos Photo Flash: First Look at Ted Hearne's Digital-Age Oratorio THE SOURCE at SF Opera Lab
THE SOURCE, composed by TEd Hearne, libretto by Mark Doten, and directed by Daniel Fish, at SF Opera Lab on Thursday night, February 23, 2017. Photo Flash: First Look at Ted Hearne's Digital-Age Oratorio THE SOURCE at SF Opera Lab
THE SOURCE, composed by TEd Hearne, libretto by Mark Doten, and directed by Daniel Fish, at SF Opera Lab on Thursday night, February 23, 2017. Photo Flash: First Look at Ted Hearne's Digital-Age Oratorio THE SOURCE at SF Opera Lab
THE SOURCE, composed by TEd Hearne, libretto by Mark Doten, and directed by Daniel Fish, at SF Opera Lab on Thursday night, February 23, 2017. Photo Flash: First Look at Ted Hearne's Digital-Age Oratorio THE SOURCE at SF Opera Lab
THE SOURCE, composed by TEd Hearne, libretto by Mark Doten, and directed by Daniel Fish, at SF Opera Lab on Thursday night, February 23, 2017. Photo Flash: First Look at Ted Hearne's Digital-Age Oratorio THE SOURCE at SF Opera Lab
THE SOURCE, composed by TEd Hearne, libretto by Mark Doten, and directed by Daniel Fish, at SF Opera Lab on Thursday night, February 23, 2017. Photo Flash: First Look at Ted Hearne's Digital-Age Oratorio THE SOURCE at SF Opera Lab
THE SOURCE, composed by TEd Hearne, libretto by Mark Doten, and directed by Daniel Fish, at SF Opera Lab on Thursday night, February 23, 2017.

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