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Three Online Events Before WSP's A SURVIVOR'S ODYSSEY World Premiere


The production premieres on September 24.

Three Online Events Before WSP's A SURVIVOR'S ODYSSEY World Premiere

In the lead-up to the third and final installment of their virtual pandemic opera trilogy, Cerise Jacobs and her activist opera company White Snake Projects present, in collaboration with their advocacy partners, three consecutive online forums (Sep 13-15) in the week prior to the live, virtual world premiere of A Survivor's Odyssey: The Journey of Penelope and Circe on September 24. A Survivor's Odyssey Forum Series presents artists and experts in conversation around the themes explored in the new work.

These forums are free to attend, but registration is required. The first event, on September 13, is An Artist's Odyssey: Transcending Trauma Through Art, which explores artmaking as a means of healing and liberation by survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence; panelists will discuss their artwork featured in White Snake Projects's virtual art exhibit TO LIVE.

On September 14, The Shadow Pandemic: Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence During COVID-19 features a roundtable of representatives from notable Boston-area and national advocacy organizations discussing the way lockdown has affected survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence. Finally, on September 15, the series concludes with The Fallen Woman Rises: Confronting the Male Gaze in Opera and Beyond, which will take a deep look at how opera's famous heroines are shaped by the minds of men, and how this kind of storytelling affects our culture as a whole. Each forum will include Q & A sessions following the discussions.

The first night's discussion, An Artist's Odyssey: Transcending Trauma Through Art, features a panel of artists represented in White Snake Projects' virtual exhibit TO LIVE. They will discuss the role of art in aiding the healing and empowerment process for survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence. Moderated by Annie Chang, an interdisciplinary artist and art therapist, the panel includes Carole Alden, an architectural crochet artist; Catriona Baker, an animator, book artist and painter whose work has been exhibited nationally and who served as the Storyboard Artist for A Survivor's Odyssey; and Cathy Salser, founder of A Window Between Worlds, which provides art therapy training for human services organizations and encourages survivors to engage in art as a way to find their voice in a safe, creative space.

The Shadow Pandemic: Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence During COVID-19 will take a deep dive into how the pandemic has affected survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence, drawing on the expertise of panelists representing organizations based in Boston and beyond: Patrick Donovan of The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC); Camila Rojas-Pineiro of Casa Myrna, which provides shelter and supportive services in the Boston area; Dawn Sauma from the Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence (ATASK), and Erica Perez, representing The Network/La Red, which serves the LGBTQIA+ community

Finally, The Fallen Woman Rises: Confronting the Male Gaze in Opera and Beyond discusses how opera has been shaped by the male gaze, and how that affects storytelling even today. Jacobs moderates the panel, which includes two key members of A Survivor's Odyssey's creative team: composer Mary Prescott and director Elena Araoz. They are joined by Ted Bunch, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of A Call to Men, an organization dedicated to ending all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls through education; and by Bobbi Van Gilder, assistant professor of Communication, Journalism & Media at Suffolk University.

About A Survivor's Odyssey

A Survivor's Odyssey takes a hard look at the ongoing crisis of sexual and intimate partner violence through the eyes of Homer's women. The stories of Penelope and Circe alternate between the myths of their relationships with Odysseus in The Odyssey and the present-day reality of living in pandemic times, exploring what this means for those who face sexual violence. It features a libretto by Jacobs and music by New York composer and interdisciplinary artist Mary Prescott and will be directed by Elena Araoz, "a director with deep wells of imagination" (Time Out New York) who has also helmed Alice in the Pandemic and I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams for the company. The cast features soprano Teresa Castillo as Circe; mezzo-soprano Amanda Crider as Penelope; countertenor Patrick Dailey, who played MiniB in White Snake's 2018 production of PermaDeath, as Telegonus; and bass-baritone James Demler in the role of Odysseus (Sep 24, 26, 28).

A Survivor's Odyssey is the third opera in White Snake Production's pandemic trilogy - following the highly praised Alice in the Pandemic and Death by Life - that have addressed subjects raised by the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests of the past year.

About White Snake Projects

White Snake Projects is an activist opera company founded and led by Cerise Jacobs, an immigrant woman of color. Committed to integrating social activism with original opera, the company partners with other activists to cross-promote important social issues, and it redefines how opera is made by involving a variety of people from the community. It is also innovative, telling stories across multiple platforms and formats using 21st-century digital technologies, including the audio plugin Tutti Remote - whose development it fostered - that enables live synchronous performance from remote locations. White Snake Projects was inaugurated in September 2016 with Ouroboros Trilogy, a trio of grand operas including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Madame White Snake, and continued with REV. 23 (2017), PermaDeath (2018), I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams (2019), and the groundbreaking digital operas Alice in the Pandemic (2020), which was acquired by the Library of Congress for its Performing Arts COVID-19 Response Collection, and Death by Life (2021).

Three Online Events Before WSP's A SURVIVOR'S ODYSSEY World Premiere

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