May 6 & 7, 2016
Anthology Film Archives

Building on the pioneering work of composer Robert Ashley, who believed that the America of his time was a culture of TV, Experiments in Opera presented a collection of five original operas created specifically for the screen. These works, commissioned from Jason Cady, Emily Manzo, Anna Mikhailova, Aaron Siegel, and Dorian Wallace/David Kulma, were conceived of as a unique way to tell compelling stories through music in a format that is most relevant to our multi-screen culture. The videos, ranging from 10-20 minutes, were screened as one continuous program at the Anthology Film Archives on May 6 & 7, 2016.t

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About the Program

The Rest !s Sh!t: Stories from the Microchasm
Dorian Wallace/David Kulma

In a world not unlike our own, we experience moments in many lives. A man joins street protests and considers his sister’s problems with family and friends.  A man has thoughts when he is pushed onto the subway tracks.  Given the recent events here… The rest is shit.

Music and story by Dorian Wallace/David Kulma
Directed and filmed by John Sanborn
David Kulma, voice
Dorian Wallace, piano
Michael Eaton, saxophone
Lathan Hardy, saxophone

Carl Limbacher, bass
Max Maples, drums
Hajnal Pivnick, violin
Diane Skerbec, dance
Breton Tyner-Bryan, dance
Carlos Venturo, dance

Tea Before You Go
Aaron Siegel

Rich, a terminally-ill sixty-year old, agrees to an experimental hallucinogenic treatment with his psychologist. Reluctant at first, Rich eventually embraces the opportunity to explore the sounds and visions of his subconscious mind.

Music and story by Aaron Siegel
Videography by Antonia Colodro
John Hagan, Rich
Christopher Michael MacFarland, Therapist

Dan Friel, man
Nathaniel Adams, voice
Jessica Pavone, viola
Aaron Siegel, synthesizer

in the distance go on forever/the story of contemporary Frankenstein
Anna Mikhailova

What if all your previous experiences and worlds became visible and physical? Everyone is a Frankenstein, creating their world with their choices.  We all are responsible for the living worlds we create, even when they take on a life of their own.

Anna Mikhailova, Music, Text, Concept, Editing, Filmmaker, Recording
Stephanie Pan as Michele Frankenstein
Sidhi Achmat as Contemporary Frankenstein, voice
Three golden fishes, highlighting opera voice
Isabell Schulz, costumes

Ko de Kok, body paint
Jesse Bom, Flora Reznik, Rob Verbunt, cameras
Loek Vellekoop, Pim Piet, Ludmila Rodrigues, instrument design
Dylan Hallegraeff, explosion support
Pim Piet, Rodrigo Parejo, assistance support
Giacomo Piscitelli, Toufic Aoun, Dario Giustarini, recording support

I Screwed Up the Future
Jason Cady

In 2016 the world still suffers from the after effects of massive power outages, food shortages, and nuclear explosions caused by Y2K. Cassandra, a computer programmer, builds a time machine and travels back to 1996 to prevent it. But will she succeed? And would things be better if Y2K had not happened?

Music and story by Jason Cady
Videography by Malik Isasis
Katie Eastburn, voice
Sasha Zamler-Carhart, voice

Tomas Cruz, voice
Jessica Pavone, bass guitar
Jason Cady, pedal steel and modular synthesizer
Clay Holley, mixing and sound designe

Emily Manzo

PUBLIC is an operatic experimental film centered around stories of Sonny Singh’s and Mawia Khogali’s experiences with Islamophobia.

Music and concept by Emily Manzo
Videography by Christine Edwards
Sonny Singh, trumpet and voice​
Mawia Khogali, voice
Arooj Aftab, voice
Shayna Dunkelman, percussion
Jace Clayton (aka DJ Rupture), additional music

Gus Solomons, Jr., dance
Shalya-Vie Jenkins​, dance​
Emily Manzo, piano and keyboard
Recording by Jeff Cook
Titles by Paul Rowley
Brock Monroe, camera
Stacey Boggs, lighting design