The AH! opera no-opera is a language/theatrical/musical soundswordsoundsworld experience for an interactive audience of Creative Engagers. AH! opera no-opera integrates sound and word, such that music and libretto are not separate, not different from one another (not one and another at all), born from the origins of both music and language, illuminating their power to both differentiate and join human beings.
Inspired by the nonsectarian spirit of the Buddhist Diamond Sutra, composer-performer David Rosenboom and poet-writer Martine Bellen developed an interactive opera generator in the shape of a Mandala (Wheel of Life) with 13 interlinking, hyperlinking stories, and their movable parts and pathways.
The first public performance versions of AH! opera no-opera were presented to enthusiastic, sold-out audiences at REDCAT in Los Angeles on September 16, 17, and 18, 2009, with staging by director Travis Preston, scenic design by Christopher Barreca, video design by Jeremiah Thies, choreography by Mira Kingsley, lighting design by Laura Mroczkowdki, and a host of other contributing artists. Garnering critical acclaim and widespread recognition in the media, these performances were realized with the generous support of the Transatlantic Arts Consortium and the Evelyn Sharp Foundation as part of A Counterpoint of Tolerance project.
Ten composer/performers from around the world were brought together to investigate—through musical collaboration—human conditions in the new era of globalization. These performances of AH! were the blooming implications of that peaceful illumination! The collaborating composer-performers were Iván Caramés Bohigas (Spain), Michael-Thomas Foumai (US-Hawaii), Alex Kotch (US-North Carolina), Claudio Maldonado (Argentina-Patagonia), Vedran Mehinovic (Bosnia), Natalie Oram (UK), Doo Jin Park (Korea), Jerónimo (Jxel) Rachenberg (Mexico), Diana Syrse Valdés Rosado (Mexico), and Xiaolang Zhou (China).
Ten 3-D sound-speaker pods, a set of 10 laser beams shining upward from a piano and responding to hand movements, 12 more beaming from a diamond tetrahedron, an interactive multi-touch table, an unusual array of instruments, a musical robot, music makers-speakers-singers-actors-movers-theater makers, and more than 13 of the world's languages were united to comprise the opera no-opera AH!
AH! is ongoing! The many dimensions of AH! continue to evolve through various media, documentation, presentations about the processes of AH!, and more performances anticipated in the future. Creative Engagers are invited to continue being a part of the AH! experience. Watch videos, listen to sounds and view webcasts gathered from the REDCAT performances. Navigate the website and interact, immerse, generate words-sounds! Return often. Watch for new developments and news about future realizations of AH! Come together with wordsoundwords in no harm harmony illuminating the power of sounds-words to unite the world as we listen, sing, create together.