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Experiments In Opera Announces Podcast Opera, AQUA NET & FUNYUNS

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The five new works, each 20-25 minutes long, will be audio-only recordings

Experiments In Opera Announces Podcast Opera, AQUA NET & FUNYUNS
On Monday, December 7, 2020, Experiments in Opera (EiO)-the fun and fearless composer collective-will premiere a new five-part podcast opera entitled AQUA NET & FUNYUNS, part of an effort to share newly-commissioned, original works of opera during the COVID-19 shutdown and extended time of social distancing.

The five new works, each 20-25 minutes long, will be audio-only recordings that were designed specifically to tell compelling stories with sound design, sung-through vocals, and instruments-but no visual elements.

The five episodes that make up the full podcast will be released together for free on December 7 and available for download and streaming on the internet and anywhere listeners enjoy their podcasts. Each episode will contain one-third of a single story, with the next act of each story tacked on to a subsequent episode. This highlights the cliff-hanger nature of serial narratives and the playful possibilities of the podcast medium.

The stories and librettos featured in Aqua Net & Funyuns emerged from a one-month iteration of EiO's innovative Writers' Room project, bringing together a group of writers from the world of podcast fiction to create individual episodes in the style of a television writer's room. In the case of Aqua Net & Funyuns, the four librettists each tell separate stories that are linked through details that appear throughout. Developed through a communal process of feedback and workshopping, the librettos share an embrace of genre fiction, non-normative relationships, otherworldly phenomena, emotional hi-jinks, and compelling characters. (EiO's Writers' Room launched in December 2018 with its most ambitious project to date: Everything for Dawn, an epic 10-episode serial opera that is being collaboratively written by ten composers and six writers, and will premiere in Fall 2021.).

Aqua Net & Funyuns is a natural extension of Experiments in Opera's long-standing explorations of alternative mediums for contemporary opera. Examples include EiO's first podcast opera Buick City, 1:00 AM ("Jam-packed with intrigue...top-notch, gorgeously produced"-I Care If You Listen) which was released in 2018; Video Operas ("fascinating...charming"-The New York Times) in 2016; and Radio Operas ("innovative opera miniatures"-WQXR) in 2013. These programs have positioned Experiments in Opera as a perennial disrupter of opera's business-as-usual approach.

THE FIVE OPERAS WITHIN AQUA NET & FUNYUNS
Beauty Shot


Libretto by Daniel Shepard
Music by Tariq Al-Sabir
What starts out as a simple trim turns into a murderous trial of infidelity at a quiet hair salon in Kansas.

Another One Bites

Libretto and Music by Jason Cady
A high school student in the 1980's ditches an anti-drug assembly to smoke pot and hides from a cop in a porta-potty-which becomes a portal to a parallel universe.


Ships That Pass

Libretto by Cara Ehlenfeldt
Music by Aaron Siegel
When Alden discovers that his deceased mother authored queer fanfiction, he reexamines his high school memories and his reluctance to tell her about his own queer identity.

The Understudy

Libretto by Jason Cady and Cara Ehlenfeldt
Music by Kamala Sankaram
An opera company hires a private eye to go undercover as an understudy to a soprano.


Arkana Aquarium

Libretto by Annie-Sage Whitehurst
Music by Michi Wiancko
A widowed janitor at an aquarium becomes convinced his wife has been reincarnated.
As the newly acquired fish.

All five episodes to be released on December 7, 2020. Available for free download at Apple Podcasts, stitcher.com, experimentsinopera.com, or wherever else you get your podcasts.



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