Two years ago in the formerly fabulous and now defunct Royal T gallery in Culver City the Industry launched their first show. The Industry presents experimental productions merging “music, visual arts and performance to expand the traditional definition of Opera and create a paradigm for interdisciplinary collaboration.” Yes, I say! The last time I went to the Opera I had a 3 show subscription with Los Angeles Opera company 5 years ago.
At the time Woody Allen, and David Cronenberg had created operas for the 2008 summer season. Allen’s production received rave reviews. Sadly I opted for the David Cronenberg directed production of The Fly instead. Little did I know how UNfabulous the production could be, involving continuous dry humping nude love scenes, and the worst lyrics I have ever heard in my life. “And his arms and his limbs started to fall off……” My humiliation FOR the cast was all encompassing. Even when I later saw Carmen, which was staged beautifully with gorgeous costumes I wasn’t very excited about it.
About 4 weeks ago: I am riding my daily commute via L.A. Metro bus and “transit tv” features a profile on The Industry’s latest production Invisible Cities. Almost immediately I am sold. I was fortunate and entirely grateful to be able to attend a free performance this Sunday after I took too long to buy tickets and the 3week run quicklysold out quickly.
The production of Invisible Cities takes place entirely in the very beautiful Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, while the station is in use by commuters and travelers. The station is the stage and the commuters are the background players for a drama based on the novel by Italo Calvino and music and libretto performed by Christopher Cerrone.
In director, Yuval Sharon’s introduction to the performance he informs us that there is “no right way to view this performance.” He asks us to allow everyone who is using the space to let it meet their needs, whether it is transit, or warmth and shelter. He also encourages us to share our headphones with passerbys and those who were not able to procure some for that very performance. He asks us to journey together and just experience Invisible Cities, without concern of missing something somewhere else in the station because this is by design a unique and fleeting experience. I find this divine.
You will be able to see exactly what is so magical about this Opera, thanks to KCET‘s Artbound series when they air a feature on the making of Invisible Cities in early December. The show closes November 8th.
For me the performance was a joy. The joy of a beautiful public space becoming even more alive with music and dance to many’s surprise as people passed through the station. The faces of my fellow audience members with intent as a dancer’s kinetic energy was all of a sudden beside them and or all around them. The excitement of being in the middle of a scene as a singer is emoting and singing while staring into my eyes walking toward me. Me on the verge of tears.
I am endlessly in love with Invisible Cities. I have a renewed interest in classical music and opera in particular thanks to the creative infusion of The Industry. Thank you kindly, I am feeling inspired for years to come. XXO