The Source

I attended 21c Liederabend last year at BAM and was intrigued by the arias presented from The Source which was commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects. When I saw the entire opera was being staged at BAM’s Fisher Theater, I knew it was going to be a memorable experience, and I was right. The use of the black box space was really innovative. I loved that one half of the audience was facing the other half of the audience, and we were surrounded by huge videos of fellow humans watching what we assumed to be classified war videos, but all we could see was their facial expressions — plus the facial expressions of our fellow audience members. The vocalists were embedded in the audience, which was clever as well. The resulting impact was all of us watching others watching videos, and all the while the music and vocals were firing their uncomfortable truths at us — and uncomfortable it was. By the end of the production, we all sat in stunned silence. I caught the eye of the man sitting next to me and mouthed “Wow”. Unbeknownst to me, I am now pretty sure it was the composer, Ted Hearne.  I am glad that I didn’t know that at the time, because that made my response absolutely genuine. I left needing to cry to release the tension. I was very powerfully moved. I would not want to see this again. And I think everyone should see it.

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