So, I was fortunate enough to be hired as the assistant on “Facing Goya,” a new opera about genes, craniology, eugenics and cloning. The opera premiered at the Spoleto festival earlier this year, and travelled to Singapore as a part of the Singapore International Festival of the Arts. This meant I got to go with the show to ensure everything was set up and worked smoothly over the course of the run. And, believe it or not, it did. It’s amazing what you can do with a budget and a capable and supportive production team. We had our production machine crap out on us for our first dress rehearsal, but I was able to get my laptop up and running as a replacement while we waited for the Watchout rental place to bring a new one. Other than that, there weren’t any real issues.
This production gave me a new appreciation for opera. Not only for the singers– it’s a feat to belt for two hours straight– but for the world of opera production in general. The scale of the productions is just incredible and allow for really bold design choices. There’s much more room for abstraction in the design than theater, and they have the budget to support thinking big. It was great to see Austin really let loose on this project.
Singapore itself is a very strange place- I’ve never really been to a country with such an obvious state presence. There are some very strange strict laws, and censorship is obvious and pronounced. However, it leads to a very well run, clean and safe city. I don’t know if it’s worth it, but it’s interesting to see a very different model of government and to witness a different relationship between the state and its citizens.
It was a great trip and a successful show, but I’m glad to be back in New York, even for a little bit. There’s some really cool stuff happening at Fake Love and it’s great to see friends and their shows.
Pics from my trip are here, if you want to see ’em.