By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
"It's such a poetic idea of Calvino's to look at these elemental, existential problems and to make them geography," Sharon says, and an equally poetic idea to set the adaptation at a transportation hub that leads to various cities.
But it's one thing to say "headphone opera in Union Station" and another matter entirely to put one on. Sharon says it took a year of intense negotiations with Metro just to get the transportation authority's nod. "Now they're very cooperative and very excited," he adds.
Equally daunting have been the technical hurdles. Gimenez says the production is stretching the ability of a consumer wireless headphone system intended for a suburban den. That stretch includes an industrial-grade transmitter and stringing a small forest of commercial antennae around the station.
800 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Category: Community Venues
Region: Chinatown/ Elysian Park
The results could be startling. A test drive of the Sennheisers with sopranos Delaram Kamareh and Ashley Knight performing to a recorded test track of the musicians (during the show, the musicians will be live in the Harvey House room) revealed a clarity and sense of spatial depth that produced the uncanny sensation of a singer standing just behind the listener, singing gently into his left ear.
Sharon, who assisted Achim Freyer on Los Angeles Opera's 2010 Ring Cycle and spent four years as project director of VOX, admits that the production is a gamble for the young company.
"It's a risk unlike any I've ever taken before," he says. "There are so many unknowns."
It's not unlike the city Irene from Calvino's novel, he muses. "You know the name of the city, and it's far off, and you keep walking closer and closer and closer to it, and it always stays far away.
"And in a way," he adds, "that's a good metaphor for this entire creative process. Because you have this image of what you want to do, and it's a vision. And you just keep walking toward it and walking toward it and walking toward it. And you have this limited time to get as close to that vision as you possibly can. To that city."
INVISIBLE CITIES | The Industry, at Union Station | 800 N. Alameda St., dwntwn. | Oct. 19–Nov. 8 | invisiblecitiesopera.com
Correction: The original version of this story had the wrong name for the composer of Crescent City. The correct name is Anne LeBaron.