Ben Lear Performs Lillian: A Folk Opera At Le Poisson Rouge 5/21

Composer and writer BEN LEAR will perform his new folk opera, Lillian: A Folk Opera with the multi-media art group Aytia/Matia at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleeker Street) on Friday, May 21. The multimedia concert experience with projected video-art, sequenced lighting and costumes features a fifteen-piece band and additional under water footage by Fisher Stevens, Oscar winning producer of "The Cove." It's a sophisticated combination of melodic indie rock, lilting troubadour folk with classical influences. You can hear excerpts from "Lillian" here: http://benlear.bandcamp.com/

Costumes are by Alice Bacon and scenic and lighting design by Rachelle Beckerman. Grayson Sanders serves as Musical Director and Conductor. He is joined by Alice Bacon on backing and lead vocals; Kris Nolte on keyboard, piano, backing and lead vocals; Ian Davis on guitar, percussion, backing and lead vocals; Renata Zeiguer on backing and lead vocals; Pat Swoboda on upright and electric bass; Ian Chang on drums and percussion; Rob Walker on clarinet and bass clarinet; Ben Brody on french horn; Stuart Stephenson on trumpet; Mark Broschinsky on trombone; Amanda Lo and Gabe Smith on violin; Elise Frawley on viola and Sofia Nowik on cello.

Lillian tells the story of a young man kept awake by the fear that he's watching his lover, who sleeps soundly in bed, drift away from him, becoming one of the many things he's lost in his life.

He determines that all the things we lose in our lives end up in an island of trash floating in the Pacific Ocean and in a desperate attempt to reclaim these things, he sets off on a scuba-diving journey to that island. Along the way he meets strange sea creatures, who trigger discoveries within his mind's journey to determine how and why he began to lose Lillian. The young man's desire for love propels him further into the night, and into a swell of events he could never have imagined.

The performance May 21 is also a non-profit with all ticket sales going to Project Kaisei (www.projectkaisei.org), an organization based out of San Francisco working directly on the Garbage Patch crisis. The Garbage Patch, a remote section Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas, is heavily contaminated in a swirl of industrial plastics. These broKen Down pieces of plastic appear like tiny pieces of confetti. The plastic absorbs toxic chemicals which are lethal to fish and aquatic wildlife. The San Francisco-based Project Kaisei is developing a method to clean up the patch by turning plastic into diesel fuel.

BEN LEAR - the son of legendary TV and film producer Norman Lear ("All In The Family," "The Princess Bride") - was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. He began writing poems in elementary school and at age nine published one in Hillary Clinton's anthology of children's poems, Dear Socks, Dear Buddy.

A few years later, Ben discovered the guitar and formed a band, in which he wrote and performed his own songs and, in the fall of 2006, entered into NYU's Music Composition program. At NYU, he developed an interest in concert music and recognized an opportunity to use orchestral colors in his own songwriting. In early 2009 he began writing his first large-scale composition, Lillian and in the fall of his senior year, Ben helped form the multi-media art group, Aytia/Matia.

During this time, Ben never lost his passion for creative writing. He was a creative writing minor and in 2008 had his short story, "Storstad," published on the Huffington Post. In the near future, Ben hopes to tour his music, direct a feature film, write a novel, and continue to weave all three together in new and interesting ways.

BEN LEAR and Aytia/Matia will present Lillian: A Folk Opera on Friday, May 21 at 7:00 PM at Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street). Tickets are $15 or $8 for students with a valid ID present. There are also $50 VIP tickets which include an EP and a T-shirt. For tickets or more info please visit www.lepoissonrouge.com or call (212) 353-3474. For more info about Lillian please visit www.lillianmusic.com.

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