Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Companion and Safe Word at Fringe

These two short one act operas came from the Opera, Three Way. Music was by Robert Paterson and lyrics by David Cote in an arrangement with Bill Holab Music. The music Director was Deniz Uz and the stage director was Eric Pinder.

The Companion was set in the near future in a comfortably appointed apartment. A single smartly dresses business woman, Maya (Samantha Barnes Daniel) returned home to a perfectly prepared dinner and wine served by her perfect boyfriend, Joe (Johnathan Lee Iverson). it became clear that he was perfect because he was a carefully programed robot. His programing also included hundreds of sexual positions, but he did have a tendency to slip into mechanical speech patterns.

The woman decided she wanted a programing upgrade. The live tech support guy, Dax (Jacob Pence) flirted a bit and was a reminder that perhaps she should consider the real deal. When the sex robot was fully upgraded, he began to  ignore the heroine playing video games constantly. When she called the company to complain, she was told that every aspect of the programing was designed to make him seem like a true to life boyfriend. It was a fun premise and the music carried the show beautifully.

The second one act opera, Safe Word, was about a dominatrix, Mistress Salome (Sarah Purser). I have seen Sarah perform in many other operas and I didn't realize she was performing in this opera until she took her wig off to take a bow after the show. You have to admire an opera singer who can transform so completely. I hope to get to see her in leading roles more often.

Salome was waiting on a client (Jacob Pence) and when he did knock at the door, she let him wait. She insisted that anticipation is needed before pain and pleasure.

The client was a businessman who wanted to dress in pantaloons and act like a child needing punishment. I resisted sketching but had to jump in when she tied him to a restraining cross. Of course, a safe word is agreed upon in case anything gets out of hand. Things do indeed get out of hand with more pain than pleasure involved. In the end however, we realize that the dominatrix is actually the client and she has had the most empowering experience of her life.

I love that Opera Orlando is bringing such edgy modern productions to the Fringe and Orlando in general. A  month after Fringe they presented Star Trek Abduction which is based on Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio. They are going where no opera has gone before. Who doesn't want to hear an aria sung in Klingon?

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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