Announcing The Opera Shop!

Opera Cabal announces this fall the official debut of our most innovative and ambitious program to date! Following years of development, The Opera Shop is a new vehicle dedicated officially to exploring the intersection of opera and intelligent design. Over the period of a single month, The Opera Shop places two of the most daring and cutting-edge artists we know in partnership with a dramaturg. During this time each artist-scholar trio will have the rare opportunity to dedicate themselves exclusively to a work that inquires into the form and flexibility of opera, while working in the kind of spacious and comfortable environment necessary for the kind of eureka moments we hope to foster. The end goal of each residency will be to mount a single, evening-length new work that represents a radical critique of opera in the 21st century.

For our first project with The Opera Shop, the Cabal is thrilled to present video designer, producer, composer and all-around technical whiz Alexander Overington in collaboration with virtuoso cellist and singer, Teddy Rankin-Parker. Overington and Rankin-Parker first established a reputation when they toured as the opening act for Grammy Award-winning ensemble, eighth blackbird. If opera is premised on the meeting of complementary but different art forms, the differing interests & talents of these two artists is a confrontation of operatic proportions. Our challenge to them? To combine Overington’s process of controlled digitization and Rankin-Parker’s improvisatory freedom into a single work that dramatizes the difference between mediatization & liveness in contemporary performance practice. Overington & Rankin-Parker come together like worlds colliding to a spectacular soundtrack.

Opera Cabal is proud to partner on this endeavor with our long-time co-producing organization, High Concept Laboratories. HCL, a Chicago-based arts organization, will serve as The Opera Shop residency partner by hosting the artist incubation and private performance debut. Meanwhile, The Opera Shop Blog will allow us to share this creative process online, posting video and audio from the residency and performances and allowing the artists to reflect on their creative process. Opera Cabal director and dramaturg Amy Stebbins will moderate the online discussion, spending time with the artists during the residency and producing critical feedback on the blog.

Our goal at Opera Cabal is to create stage works that challenge the idea of the opera as a genre, and to create new opportunities for outstanding artists to work together. We hope you will join us for what promises to be an incredibly exciting process!

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