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BLACK LODGE Premieres in October as Part of Opera Philadelphia's Festival O22 and the 2022 Philadelphia Fringe Festival

Performances will take place October 1 & 2, 2022.

BLACK LODGE Premieres in October as Part of Opera Philadelphia's Festival O22 and the 2022 Philadelphia Fringe Festival

What does it take to face ourselves? Enter the darkness in search of something beautiful, transcendent. But be very careful what you need to know...

So warns the unnamed protagonist of composer David T. Little's newest operatic and cinematic creation, Black Lodge. Drawing on the disturbing and complicated mythologies of the surrealist writer William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch), Black Lodge uses dance, industrial rock, classical string quartet, and opera to take viewers through a Lynchian psychological escape room.

This bold new work with a libretto by legendary poet  Anne Waldman and story, screenplay, and direction by Michael Joseph McQuilken blends opera and rock into an alchemical exploration of magic, mystery, regret, and redemption.

Set in a nightmarish Bardo, a place between death and rebirth, a tormented writer (Timur) faces down demons of his own making. Forced to confront the darkest moment in his life, he mines fractured and repressed memories for a way out. A woman (Jennifer Harrison Newman) is at the center of all the writer's afterlife encounters. She is the subject of his life's greatest regret, and she materializes everywhere in this Otherworld. The writer cannot detach any thoughts of his life from her.

Part film screening and part industrial rock opera concert, this world premiere event features glam opera band Timur & the Dime Museum alongside musicians from the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra at the Philadelphia Film Center. Black Lodge will then make its streaming debut on Friday, Oct. 21, the Opera Philadelphia Channel.

"Growing up, I always felt like I saw the world differently; that I saw the dark side of things more readily than others," said composer David T. Little. "The process of creating Black Lodge was one of accepting that part of myself: of exploring that darkness, travelling through it in hopes that there would be something beautiful, even transcendent on the other side."

Black Lodge "highlights the sense of existential dilemma for the artist in a world of contradiction, and personal upheaval," said librettist Anne Waldman and "explores our darkest deeds and aspirations with insight and magnetizing power. The Black Lodge is a metaphor for our hidden desires, nightmares, our love, and loss. It is a voyage through the spiritual and unpredictable 'bardo' between life and death."

The project is attracting attention throughout the music industry. Renowned musician Thurston Moore, known as a member of Sonic Youth, serves as executive producer of Black Lodge. "This is opera ripping through the fabric of future vision psychosis where the integrity of classic form clasps the hands of radical possibilities," said Moore. "David T. Little takes no prisoners here, in confluence with poet angel head Anne Waldman's libretto of nature, irreality, and spirit consciousness, divining deliverance from life's spectacle of chaos and love. You're about to have your mind scorched, my friends!"

Composer Philip Glass (Akhnaten, Einstein on the Beach) is also a fan. "Black Lodge is a bold new operatic film," said Glass. "It seamlessly blends poetry and music into a powerful cinematic experience."


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