Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Harper’

Among Erin Thompson’s many brilliant contributions to the show, maybe none of them were as dead-on and necessary as the frozen treats she brought for all of us yesterday. It was right up there with Ivy’s Margarita Mondays (which became Tequila Tuesdays):

For the penultimate rehearsal, I sat in the Skybox, which I think is really a spectacular place to see the show. Right from the beginning you have tenor Jonathan Mack ascend to your level for his aria to the sunset:

I also loved the ability to see so much of the world splayed out in front of you and watch the intersecting lines of the cast’s choreography through the space. What you can’t quite see is very satisfyingly filled in via video monitor.

Scott Timberg for The Los Angeles Times printed a fantastic feature story with a lot of pictures. I really love that he sees one of my values as “instability,” which to me might be equated with a sense of “potentiality,” “openness,” and eschewing of fixed values. That is indeed of tantamount importance to this project and to what I believe in for opera (and, for that matter, life) in general, so I’m glad he picked up on it.

I think I speak for everyone when I say: it’s all sinking in that there is only one rehearsal left!


May Day means kicking this show into its high final gear! We teched the first three scenes of Act I, complete with lighting and video…and theatrical haze!

Jason Thompson’s video design is going to be truly extraordinary and fully integrated into the storytelling:

I’m excited about the Loa, or voodoo gods, singing from the orchestra loft…

…but appearing to Marie Laveau in the clouds.

And we also played with Ivy Chou’s terrific costume designs for the first time–our Marie Laveau looks absolutely fabulous in her first entrance:

And the pool of water in the tire came to life in Ashley Faatoalia’s fantastic aria:

The tech process is about to start, so these entries are going to start getting pretty short–but I’ll keep updating with pictures from the day’s activities! The costume ladies Ivy and Cindy decreed Monday “Margaritas Monday,” and while it seems a bit late in the process to initiate such a good idea, better late than never, I say:

Olga Koumoundouros’s bean bag chairs are nearly ready, and I think they are soon to be both a highly coveted perspective for the show and an object afterwards. Until then, they were being stuffed in a perfectly painted room:

Elizabeth Harper and projections designer Jason Thompson were in full gear today, and the space shows it:

We’re almost there!!

The climactic scene of CRESCENT CITY involves a boat floating over Alice Könitz’s Swamp. We’re almost ready to start rehearsing that scene, and Eric Nolfo has made enormous strides towards us getting there:

We kept working away at reviewing and continuing to refine scenes, and Elizabeth is right there to keep layering in lighting:


The Nurses’ Scene in Crescent City is a highlight among highlights in the opera: Anne’s electronica weaves so beautifully and naturally with the stratospheric soprano lines she wrote, and the characters of the two coked-up nurses hallucinating their escape from Crescent City from the helipad are so instantly engaging–the whole scene feels perfect. We rehearsed it yesterday and it was a fantastic process: Jeff Kopp’s brilliant design for the hospital made for great staging possibilities throughout. On top of that, Elizabeth spent the whole day focusing lights, so we could start seeing how the scene could look in its proper lighting states–an amazing thing to be able to do three weeks before opening!

Gwendolyn Brown, Ji Young Yang, and Maria Elena Altany made the experience simply a great one with their great humor and their adventurous spirits.

And luckily, they are also not afraid of heights!

Laura and I added “Movin’ Right Along” from the Muppet Movie to the Crescent City Production Playlist when we picked up lighting and sound equipment from Los Angeles Opera–and that still feels like a good theme song, because everything keeps moving in the right direction over at Atwater Crossing. Elizabeth HarperCrescent City‘s indefatigable lighting designer, asked us to include Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” to the list, which works for me, although now I am agonizing over what song will work as a transition from the Muppets to Kanye.

From 6pm until 2am for the last few nights, master electrician Nate Pontius and a great crew have been busy getting the lights and cables hung and ready for Elizabeth’s focus. They’ve been using a mammoth, amazing articulated lift to get around the installations, and instantly I imagined the next opera to involve an elaborate choreography of these beautiful machines. (Although I suppose La Fura dels Baus’s Ring Cycle in Valencia may have already beat me to this punch.)

What I love about Elizabeth’s lighting concept is how integrated and architectural it is to the sculpture–and it was exciting to see Katie discover the lighting instruments in her Junk Heap this morning! Katie put it beautifully when she said, “We’re so used to working in a white box, and now with my work in a black box, I’m realizing how important the lighting is for people to perceive the work.” All of the artists mention their interaction with a lighting designer as one of the chief fascinations of working on this project, and I can’t wait for them to see their work illuminated in a way they probably never have before.

In the case of Jeff’s Hospital, versa tubes generously lent to us by LA Opera will create a very distinct lighting environment between interior and exterior:

I’m also excited about how light and darkness in alteration will shift our perceptions of these amazing installations over the course of the long night of the opera’s events: