Imagine arriving at a train station and discovering a man singing beautifully to himself. But what if he were singing to 200 people all over the station who were listening to him, seven other singers, and a live orchestra via wireless headphones?
Invisible Cities, set in LA’s historic Union Station, allowed the audience to roam freely through an operating train station, pursuing individual characters or creating their own story. The audience experienced the live performance via Sennheiser wireless headphones surrounded by the uninterrupted life of the station.
Based on Italo Calvino’s beloved novel, Invisible Cities is hauntingly adapted by composer Christopher Cerrone as a seventy-minute meditation on urban life, memory, and human connection. Cerrone’s fragile, quiet score attempts to capture “decaying sounds” through the use of found objects such as instruments and pre-recorded voices interweaving with live voices. For the world premiere, director Yuval Sharon immersed audiences in an unpredictable platform of everyday life, creating an “invisible” production that made each audience member the protagonist of the experience. With performers appearing and disappearing into the everyday fabric of the building, Sharon and choreographer Danielle Agami draw the audience into an uncannily intimate proximity to LA Dance Project and the singing ensemble.
The production was selected to represent the USA in the 2015 Prague Quadrennial, a winner of the 2014 Music Theatre Now Competition, and Cerrone’s score was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music. An hour-long documentary on the making of the opera for KCET-TV in Los Angeles received a 2014 Emmy Award.