Salvatore Sciarrino’s Lohengrin (1982), presented in partnership with Chatter, is a pop-up digital opera installation; a site-specific opera for COVID times.
This is emphatically NOT “yet another livestream”.
Artist Lance McGoldrick has built a site-specific “set” for this work in a Nob Hill storefront, and the opera was recorded and filmed in and on the artwork. For the complete experience, the opera will be played hourly on a large screen in the gallery from March 17 – April 15 to groups of no more than five at a time (free to the public, suggested donation $10+). Guests will be able to move about the gallery and experience the artwork as a true gesamtkunstwerk; albeit not as Wagner understood the term.
To book a time to visit the work, click here.
This opera will also be available from March 25 for streaming online for the COVID-cautious.
Existing at the edge of what can be heard, the music of Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino is identified by whispers of sound that punctuate a canvas of silence.
In this “azione invisible” by Salvatore Sciarrino, Lohengrin leaves Elsa. Not because she could not resist asking his true name, but rather for an embarassing reason: During the wedding night, he found himself left cold by the reality of Elsa the woman, and neurotically unable to consummate the marriage. Now he has disappeared. All that remains is a white down pillow as a taunting reminder of the swan knight, and a frantic, indeed schizophrenic young woman, shattered by the experience.
Based not on the Wagner, but rather Jules Laforgue’s 19th century parody of 1880s decadence, published in the collection “Moralités légendaires,” Sciarrino has turned this incisively comic psychological study into a soundscape of Elsa’s utterances. Her voice rises above the orchestral fluttering and shrieking. Tormented by memories; sounds & visions, at the end Elsa does not find Wagnerian apotheosis, but rather a disparate mass of dreamlike sounds.
A true anti-Lohengrin, conceptually and sonically, this production is the realization of a vision born in the aftermath of the 2018 NHCC fire, which drastically curtailed OSW’s Lohengrin (Wagner). Lance McGoldrick was scheduled to make his debut as scene designer for that work, so here finally makes his first foray into the world of opera scenic design.
Lohengrin by Salvatore Sciarrino
Elsa / Ingela Onstad
Conductor / Anthony Barrese
Director / Octavio Cardenas
Art Installation & Scenery / Lance McGoldrick
Jesse Tatum, Jennifer Lau – flutes
Amanda Talley – oboe
James Shields, Jeffrey Brooks – clarinets
Beth VanArsdel, Samantha Brenner – bassoon
Jeff Rogers – horn
Betsy Baker – trumpet
Chris Buckholz – trombone
Jeff Cornelius – percussion
David Felberg, Emily Cole – violins
Laura Steiner – viola
James Holland – cello
Toby Vigneau – bass
Colin Burdge, Javier Ortiz, Robert Carabajal – chorus
Audio / Drake Hardin
Video / Tony Zancanella
By arrangement with Hendon Music, Inc., a Boosey & Hawkes company,
Sole Agent in the U.S., Canada and Mexico for Casa Ricordi/Universal Music Publishing Ricordi S.R.L., publisher and copyright owner.
Thanks to support from:
Many hundreds of individual donors to Opera Southwest and Chatter, and: