Opera has a reputation problem in the United States in the 21st century: It’s associated with another time and another place. And if being old and foreign wasn’t bad enough, its history in the US is associated with classism and outdated Gilded Age grandeur.
But those who love the genre know that there’s more to it than that: There is deeply compelling storytelling, heightened by powerful music that transcends the eras in which its works were written. And it is a living art form – one in which current composers and musicians of all stripes (in the US as much as anywhere else) tell stories of the human experience and our relationships with one another.
I use film as a medium to create short, vibrant operatic scenes and present these works to modern audiences in a format that is recognizable and relatable. Working closely with a director and cinematographer, we determine how to create a compelling scene and overcome the numerous technical challenges of filming a musical performance. Our goal is to capture high-quality live performances of opera arias in a way that visually conveys their essential meaning.
Some of these scenes are anachronistic adaptations or updates that focus on delivering the core dramatic value of the musical moment, regardless of the period in which they were originally visualized. Some are traditional interpretations, which use the format of film to draw the viewer closer to the dramatic action than would be possible in a theater.
I learned a lot (and had a great time) creating the first "video" for "Svegliatevi nel core" from Handel's Giulio Cesare, a short film that was made on a shoestring budget. Most of the people involved donated their professional services.
We are currently seeking funding to complete the next two aria films in the series. Invest in this project by making a tax deductible donation here: