Composer/sound designer Phil Curtis is using Kyma to provide electronics and sound design for a new production of composer Anne LeBaron‘s opera, Crescent City, directed by Yuval Sharon and performed from 10-27 May 2012 at The Industry in Los Angeles. Described by LA Times critic Mark Swed as a “darkly mysterious, troubling yet weirdly exuberant and wonderfully performed new opera,” the production is a meta-collaboration that includes six visual artists who were asked to build installations for the sets (shack, cemetery, junk heap, swamp, hospital and dive bar) in the Industry’s large warehouse-like space. Variously priced tickets determine where you, the audience member, gets to sit (or roam), and the espresso bar has been deemed outstanding.
Curtis is using Kyma to spatialize sounds in the vast performance space and to create a swamp ambience at the climax of the opera as the Voodoo queen and healer Marie Laveau sings one final invocation and is swallowed up by the sounds of the swamp.
Set in post-Katrina New Orleans, the libretto metaphorically examines the way people deal with disaster and post-apocalyptic scenarios, including nurses, Voodoo, and Loa. As Swed enthusiastically concludes: “We now have something that can genuinely be called L.A. opera.”