Pop Filter Hot Pick: Attack Theatre presents the world premiere of Soap Opera
Ready for a "passionate mashup" of opera, music, dance, and
the powerful art of storytelling?
All of this and more converge in very dramatic ways in the world premiere of Attack Theatre's
latest original production, Soap Opera
Up and runnng now at the company's shared space with the Pittsburgh Opera
, the multimedia dance work continues through Sunday, February 10th at Attack's George R. White Studio, located at 2425 Liberty Ave. in the Strip District.
From story to dance
Incorporating the epic themes and theatrical sounds of opera, the production allows the ambitious company to present a lively new twist on the age-old tale of legendary Persian queen Scheherazade, who weaved alluring stories of One Thousand and One Nights
to survive. The evening length performance tells the tale of a talented musical couple as she prepares herself and her husband for his expected passing, bearing witness through stories and adventures before facing his inevitable departure.
Drawing inspiration from the classic tale of Scheherazade and her time with the Persian King, Soap Opera
reimages this timeless tale with contemporary meaning and impact. As the main character of Soap Opera
lives through his last moments, significant stories come to life before him via dance and opera music.
Attack Theatre's co-founder and co-artistic director Peter Kope explains that the narrative, movement and musical elements also embody very personal experiences.
"We created difficult challenge for ourselves in integrating the world of opera music and creating a show that would make sense. We began to look at our past experiences of our friend, a young man who passed away in hospice and this entire experience we had with him. As his disease progressed, he became less and less communicative. We were inspired by his strength and his struggles, and by the people around him," says Kope. "He struggles because he can no long replay the piano and this frustration exist in his mind. Then we came to Scheherazade, and we thought about the power of stories to potentially prolong his life in a way. The songs in the show are his his memory-stories."
Putting a contemporary spin on themes of love and longing--and the struggle to avoid an inevitable farewell, the show pairs Attack's technical prowess with a mashup of contemporary dance, opera classics and live performances by Pittsburgh Opera
Resident Artist and mezzo-soprano Nicole Rodin, who sings three songs. The show also features three pre-recorded musical pieces sung by additional resident artists from the Pittsburgh Opera.
seasoned cast includes: Attack Theatre co-founders, artistic directors and choreographers, Michele de la Reza and Peter Kope, along with company dancers Liz Chang, Dane Toney and Ashley Williams.
They are joined by
Attack’s newest company member Brent Luebbert, guest dancers Kaitlin Dann and James Barrett, Pittsburgh-based musician Ian Green, and guest artist Mark D. Staley, a San Francisco native now based in Pittsburgh. Music director is Dave Eggar.
Go beyond the stage
Explore the themes, technqiues and creative practice behind Soap Opera
during one of Attack's educational outreach programs
occuring in conjunction with the performance. Don't miss a special Pittsburgh Opera Brown Bag Concert
on Saturday, February 9th from Noon to 1:30p.m.
Free and open to the public, the one-hour Brown Bag Concert
will feature dancers from Attack Theatre, who will perform with the Opera's Resident Artists in music from The Marriage of Figaro, The Barber of Seville, Dido and Aeneas,
. Attack Theatre will also share a sneak peek of Soap Opera
, featuring Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Nicole Rodin.
After the performance on Friday, February 8th, head to Bar Marco in the Strip to hang out with the cast and crew and enjoy a small plate for free with a drink purchase.
Purchase tickets now
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Photographs by Martha Rial