Our Place + Time for Fall

takeAway_frontOK, yes, it’s been a while since we’ve posted.

We now have a place and time for the fall premiere of our transmedia opera, MelanchoLalaland™:

•  Miami Beach Cinematheque

•  3pm-4:30 — Sunday matinee in Miami Beach – what could be more delightful?

•  Sunday, September 13, 2015

And for those of you familiar with the venue, you know it to be an intimate space for (mostly) independent cinema, and it is. We are giving a concert performance, with live vocalists against the splendid video background our cherished venue will provide. There are only 75 seats, and each audience member will receive a special edition of “DUH IMMOOTABLE TROOTHZ” print.

We shall have more announcements soon—please check out our spankin’

We Did it! MelanchoLalaland™’s First Public Sneak Peek!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Having had a few days to chill, I’m now posting this first evidence of our performance of MelanchoLalaland™: Scenes from a Transmedia Opera at Miami Light Box in conjunction with FilmGate Interactive Conference (bottom of page).

The evening began with a performance of Pioneer Winter’s A Proper Marriage, danced by the choreographer and performed/sung by Santo Martin Cordero.

Then, the evening began with My Little Talk, where I mostly explained what a transmedia opera is, why on Earth we’d want to make one, and technical details. This set a scholarly tone for the performance, but it also allowed me to indulge in a little geekyness (as in, all that Latin in the libretto, and not even Latin you can dance to!).

Next, two of the main characters of the opera, Booster (Santo) and Tess (Vanessa Rose Rivera) reflect for a moment on Booster’s hallucinatory visions.

Following this, the first big scene in the first act of the opera, “Team Melancuria™”, depicts a video conference between Booster, Tess, and the new CEO of Melancuria, the ever mercurial Kenny Longtin (voiced and acted by some rank amateur with at least a redemptive notion of self-deprecation, and a fluffy grey kitty!). The tables are turned on Booster, as Kenny announces Tess will be taking over as team leader.

Booster’s tumult is next recounted in a dance, Darkness is Also Of My Nature (Tenebre autem naturea mea sunt), which had the working title, The Dance of the Brain Chemicals.

Dance was followed by a sneak preview of the film Casual (Sex) Friday, where a frantic survivor of an office shooting—”Carol Burkel”— hides in a closet and desperately tries to remember who could possibly be the shooter. The voice-over of Carol is sung in full mezzo soprano by Katharine Goeldner.

After C(S)F, the cast took their bows, echoed by Kinect-activated sound essays in the closing credits.

Complete Flickr slideshow of stills here; stay tuned for video documentation!

– – – –

Thanks, as always, to Diliana Alexander and the staff at FilmGate.org, tech help at Miami Light Project, Mike Lue for technical assistance, Katie Weigman and Danielle Kipnis for their dance, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters Advisory Board of Florida Atlantic University, the Robert and Inez Bailyn Foundation, the Avid Corporation, and the State of Florida Department of State, Bureau of Cultural Affairs, for their generous support on this project!

Film-Gate to Present Selections from Opera

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We’ve been invited to perform a portion of my opera MelanchoLalaland™ at South Florida’s only interactive and immersive storytelling festival – Filmgate 2015 (February 1-8, 2015).  If you would like to experience our first efforts at realizing our transmedia opera, as well as a program of local dance peformances/screenings, and interactive demonstrations/seminars you can purchase tickets on Filmgate’s website  – film-gate.org.

For presentation of scenes from MelanchoLalaland™:

  • Date: Tuesday, February 3
  • Location: Miami Light Box, 404 NW 26th St., Miami
  • Times:  7pm cocktail
  • 7:30pm – 9pm performance/screenings
  • free with FilmGate passes
  • $5 for students in advance, student ids will be checked
  • $12 in advance, IFCM members, Miami Light Box members
  • $15 at the door

Filmgate Interactive is an annual fusion event of leading international creators, thinkers, and practitioners from across the fields of film, tv, interactive, online, mobile, gaming, publishing and live events. Filmgate interactive presents the latest ideas and innovations of modern storytelling, audience engagement, and business practices. MelanchoLalaland™ is a transmedia opera composed and directed by Joey Bargsten, in collaboration with librettist/producer/lead choreographer Thea Zimmer. The project is made possible by the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters Advisory Board (FAU), the Bailyn Foundation, and the Avid Corporation. Most recently Bargsten received an Individual Artists Fellowship from the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs in the Interdisciplinary Art category.

* * * * * *

And just in case you missed our latest teaser/trailer, here it is:

Casting Call and Extras VideoShoot Nov. 7

Shiny Robots Dancing! Whoa!Are you an undiscovered musical or theatrical talent (or know someone who is)? There will be a casting call and extras video shoot for the film portion of MELANCHOLALALAND™, the multimedia opera by Joey Bargsten and Thea Zimmer, funded in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It will be held on Friday, November 7 from 10am to 2pm at O Cinema, 90 SW 29th St., Miami (305.571.9970). We’re looking for operatic or musically trained vocalists (mezzo, tenor, baritone), and for improvisatory/modern/jazz dancers. Extras (non-vocalists) will be interviewed as members corporate focus group, and will be videoed holding a sign as part of a protest rally. This poster  (Casting Call) can be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

Celebrated Mezzo Adds Multimedia Opera to Her Résumé

Kathy_in_M-Land(view on Knight Arts blog)

I’ve just completed recording Katharine Goeldner singing the soundtrack for my film-Intermezzo Casual_Sex_Fridays . Katharine has established an international reputation as one of today’s finest mezzo-sopranos. She has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Savonlinna Festival, Welsh National Opera, Minnesota Opera, and with the opera houses of Madrid, Salzburg, Oviedo, Toulouse, Lyon, Paris, Dallas, Antwerp, Bilbao, Seville and Dresden. Upcoming performances include Herodias in Salome with Virginia Opera, Bruckner’s Te Deum with the Oxford (UK) Philomusica, and Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden. Katharine studied at The University of Iowa, where I taught her Freshman Music Theory class—a friendship which led to her collaboration with me on MelanchoLalaLand™. On the process of recording the Intermezzo, she says,

“This collaboration came about through the randomness of FaceBook, where I was able to re-connect with my Freshman theory professor. It’s been good to work together again – or actually, I think this is the first time I’ve performed one of (his) pieces. . .  I have worked with living composers before and it’s interesting to learn each others languages – I have to learn the musical language of the particular composer and he or she has to become familiar with the individual characteristics of my voice. It’s exciting to be part of the creative process.”

My Intermezzo will be presented as a short film between the two acts of the (live) multimedia opera. With a stirring libretto by MelanchoLalaland™’s producer, Thea Zimmer, the piece is told through the internal monologue of a survivor of an office shooting. To evade the shooter, she hides in a cramped supply closet and tries to piece together the events of the shooting and the killer’s identity. Katharine’s participation in MelanchoLaland™ was made possible in part through the support of the John M. and James L. Knight Foundation and by the Dorothy H. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters Advisory Board of Florida Atlantic University.

* * * *

And, in other newsy news, I’m starting to publish my meme™ (media experi mental ensemble™) soundtracks on sound cloud. Check them out, and remix them if you have the strength of your ideas as your guide!

MelanchoLalaland™—Video Update

So, the next step in my little multimedia opera project: turn those 3D placeholder assets into storyboards and video, to kinda show what the piece is about. And yes, the live opera could look like this, given a few (or several, or many) thousands more. Hatchfund, anyone? (the vetted form of Kickstarter, if you’re wondering . . . )

To be presented publicly at the FAU Faculty Accomplishment Festival on Friday (Aug. 29) in Boca.