The Source

Photo by Craig T. Mathew Vocalist Isaiah Robinson in The Source

L.A. Opera presents composer Ted Hearne and director Daniel Fish's provocative new opera, which examines the American culture of war through the prism of the life of Chelsea Manning, the transgender U.S. soldier who revealed military secrets on WikiLeaks. Mark Doten's libretto is a fascinating mind puzzle that juxtaposes cryptic military insights and jargon with American pop-culture references, while Hearne's music cuts and pastes jagged elements of jazz, rock, chamber pop, Broadway, noise and experimental new music into an unsettling combination that sometimes sounds like a person with a short attention span flipping madly through all the stations on a radio dial at once. Creatively produced by Beth Morrison, The Source features four singers seated among the audience in an unusual stage setup, as Nathan Koci deftly conduct a small band of musicians behind a video screen. The shocking ending isn't for the faint of heart and will likely inspire viewers to look deep into their own consciences.


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