Opera Columbus, Against the Grain Theatre and Banff Centre Seek Members for Virtual Chorus Extravaganza

By: Nov. 22, 2017
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Opera Columbus, Against the Grain Theatre and Banff Centre Seek Members for Virtual Chorus Extravaganza

Opera Columbus, along with co-producers Against the Grain Theatre in Toronto, Ontario and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Alberta are developing Christoph Willibald Gluck's most famous work, Orphée et Eurydice (Berlioz version). Premiering in 1762, the opera was in the vanguard, changing the way that the musical form was experienced. Opera Columbus' interpretation of the piece - while staying true to the music and feel of the Baroque original -- will place the work firmly in the 21st century with new electronic orchestration, baroque burlesque dancers, sopranos singing from silks, and aerial dancers. Most importantly, the co-producers are seeking singers of all types who are interested in becoming part of the production's virtual chorus.

"We are reaching out globally for interested participants to video-record themselves singing designated parts of Orphée et Eurydice. We will select 100 of these entries and, for the run of this production, these singers will become 'virtual' members of our company" said Peggy Kriha Dye, Artistic Director of Opera Columbus. "We are looking to innovate and transform the way that this spectacular opera - which was cutting-edge when it first premiered -- is presented and experienced."

Opera Columbus, Against the Grain Theatre and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity are looking for singers to record their voice type to three excerpts from the opera. The submitted videos will be stitched together, then projected onto the set and sound mixed to synch with the live orchestra.

Vocalists, crooners and divas of all varieties can access links for videos on the requirements for videotaping, French diction, and specifics for timing, as well as the sheet music, at http://www.operacolumbus.org/orphe-et-eurydice-virtual-chorus. The process should take about 30 minutes. After the participants have followed the instructions and completed the video to satisfaction, they can upload their entry onto the website, along with their name, address, and a brief description of their background. Entrants will be informed in due time if their performance made the cut.

Questions can be emailed to virtualchorus@operacolumbus.org. The deadline for submission is January 15, 2018.

"As far as we know, this concept hasn't been applied to opera and we're excited to see the possibilities that can exist from a visual, technical and ultimately musical standpoint. If you've ever wanted to sing in an opera, this could the easiest way in," said Joel Ivany, Founder and Artistic Director of Against the Grain Theatre.

Opera Columbus' co-production of Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice will take place on April 20th and 22nd, 2018 at the Southern Theatre, with the Columbus Symphony providing orchestration. The opera will also be performed in Toronto, Ontario and Banff, Alberta. A video of the production itself will be subsequently uploaded to YouTube.com.


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