Here And Opera On Tap Presents World Premiere Of LOOKING AT YOU, September 6–21

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Here And Opera On Tap Presents World Premiere Of LOOKING AT YOU, September 6–21

 

HERE (Kristin Marting, Founding Artistic Director) and Opera on Tap in association with Experiments in Opera is presenting the world premiere of "Looking at You" (September 6-21) by composer Kamala Sankaram, librettist Rob Handel, and director Kristin Marting.

"Looking at You" is an immersive techno-noir operatic experience that confronts surveillance capitalism and the erosion of individual privacy in a digitized world. Driven by a dynamic score for three saxophones, piano, and electronics, "Looking at You" is a story of high-tech espionage and romance fusing Edward Snowden and Casablanca. Reflecting the audience's online identity in real time, "Looking at You" raises urgent questions surrounding online communication, privacy, and the reinvention of capitalism in the age of public data.

Set in Silicon Hills, "Looking at You" invites the audience inside the corporate headquarters of Rix to celebrate the launch of the company's new app CheckUOut. As guests order a complimentary drink from a singing, computer-generated assistant, a swirl of operatic voices, EDM and crime jazz surrounds them. Soon, strands of unique user data begin to be folded into the lyrics and visual content of the live performance.

"Looking at You" is a collaboration between cutting-edge artists, decision researchers, and coders. Artists Sankaram, Handel, and Marting have collaborated with behavioral economist Alessandro Acquisti and his team at Carnegie Mellon's Privacy Economics Experiments Laboratory; Ralph Gross, chief scientist for BluPanda; Bandcamp co-founder Joe Holt; Bandcamphead programmer Daniel Dickison; and video designer David Bengali to mine public data in real time during each performance through a custom-designed system, which at times includes 32 distinct streams of video.

"The global architecture of the Internet is a double-edged sword," says composer Kamala Sankaram. "On the one hand, it facilitates access to knowledge, economic growth, and freedom of expression. On the other, it erodes our right to individual privacy. 'Looking at You' questions how the loss of privacy could transform us as a global culture and confronts the audience with the fact that their personal information is available to anyone who cares to search for it."

Under the music direction of Samuel McCoy, "Looking at You" features performances by Paul An, Blythe Gaissert, Adrienne Danrich, Eric McKeever, Brandon Snook, and Mikki Sodergren, as well as instrumentalists Mila Henry, Jeff Hudgins, Ed RosenBerg, and Josh Sinton.

The additional creative team for "Looking at You" includes Nic Benacerraf (environment), Kate Fry (costumes), Ayumu Poe Saegusa (lighting), and Nathaniel Butler (sound engineer).

Fourteen performances of "Looking at You" will take place September 6-21 (see schedule above) at HERE, 145 Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. Critics are welcome as of September 6 for an official opening on September 8. Tickets - priced at $15 previews (September 6 & 7), $25 general admission, $45 premium reserved, and $50 pay-it-forward (including a $25 tax deduction) -can be purchased by visiting here.org or by calling 212-647-0202. In person sales at the box office after 5pm only on performance days and two hours prior to curtain for matinees. For Group Sales, contact tickets@here.org.

Photo Credit: BRIC



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