Ah! Opera

A co-production of the The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts and the CalArts Center for New Performance, in cooperation with Idyllwild Arts

World premiere

REDCAT transforms its flexible performance space into an immersive visual and sonic environment for the world premiere of this inventive international collaboration. Composed and performed by creators from around the globe, this pioneering collective work draws inspiration from the classic Buddhist text, the Diamond Sutra. With composer-performer David Rosenboom and award-winning poet Martine Bellen, the creative team has developed AH! as a celebratory passage across musical cultures and times: a polyglot clarion call for understanding and unity in today’s globalized, ever-more interconnected world.

Spinning off a mandala of 13 extraordinary and ordinary modern-life stories, this spellbinding opera brings together an array of robotic and interactive musical technologies, ingenious stagecraft, and flights of phenomenal musicianship. In the theatrically heightened environment of AH!, everyday life is placed flush against esoteric and transcendent realities.

Performing live, Rosenboom and 10 composer-performers from across the Americas, Europe and East Asia are joined by an additional cast of musicians, theatermakers and interactive artists under the direction of Travis Preston, who stages this exceptional music event with production designer Christopher Barreca, choreographer Mira Kingsley and video designer Jeremiah Thies.

The audience is invited to engage with and contribute to AH! before, during and after performances, via the website www.ah-opera.org, mobile media, and a magical multitouch screen at the theater.

A Counterpoint of Tolerance is a project commissioned by the Transatlantic Arts Consortium (TAC). This production of AH! is made possible with generous support from TAC, The Evelyn Sharp Foundation, and Judith O. and Robert E. Rubin.

Production Team

David Rosenboom, Lead Composer
David Rosenboom and Martin Bellen, Authors
Travis Preston, Director
Andrew Tholl, Assistant Music Director
Mira Kingsley, Choreographer, Dancer
Chris Barreca, Scenic Designer
Laura Mroczkowski, Lighting Designer
Jeremiah Thies, Video Designer
Pablo Molina, Associate Video Design
Lewis Klahr, Live Videography
John Baffa, Audio Engineering
Clay Chaplin, Web Cast
Dimitri Diakopoulos, Interactive Media
Simon Harding, Assistant Scenic Designer
Lauren Wemischner, Assistant Lighting Designer
Gary Kechely, Production Manager
Oscar Arevalo, Technical Director
Jennifer Koblosky, Stage Manager
Lisa Maydwell, Assistant Production Manager
Lauren Pratt, Producer (REDCAT)
Carol Bixler, Producer (CNP)
Ashley Walden, Associate Producer (CNP)
Lisa Barr, Producer (TAC CalArts)
Jana Morlan, Producer (TAC Idyllwild)
Claudio Maldonado, Composer, Guitar, Electronic Music
Diana Syrse Rosado, Composer, Voice
Ivan Carames Bohigas, Composer, Cello, Guitar, Piano
Doo Jin Park, Composer, Flute, Piano
Michael Foumai, Composer, Violin, Viola
Alex Kotch, Composer, Tenor, Alto Sax, Clarinet, Piano, Electronic Music
Natalie Oram, Composer, Flute, Sax, Guitar
Jeronimo (Jxel) Rajchenberg, Composer, Guitar, Indigenous Mexican-Indian Instruments (Coco-banjo, Requinto Jarocho, Charango, Koto, Jarana)
Vedran Mehinovic, Composer, Piano, Bass Guitar, Frame Drum, Hand Percussion
Xiaoliang Zhou, Composer, Piano
Ben Shepherd, Electric Bass
Tim Carr, Percussion
Daniel Rosenboom, Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Brad Culver, Performer
Dana Gourrier, Performer
Robin Wilson, Dancer
Ajay Kapur, Director of Interactive Media
Meason Wiley, Music Technology, Media
Jim Murphy, Music Technology, Media