Part of a Recital sponsored partnership with the New Hazlett Theater, Recital is presenting a series of editorially-independent previews and reviews of the 2018–2019 Community Supported Art (CSA) Performance Series. Below is their preview of Her Holiness, The Winter Dog by Kamraton, a collaborative response from Recital editor David Bernabo, season review panelist Jason Baldinger, and guest panelist Maggie Lynn Negrete.
Speculative fiction and opera: Kamratōn premieres a new opera by Curtis Rumrill and Zachary Webber
Blurring the line between heroism and demagoguery, ‘Her Holiness, the Winter Dog’ playfully imagines a bleak new future
Imagine a world where humans cause ecological catastrophe, which, in turn, causes the extinction of most nonhuman animal life. Several generations of human life pass. A diminished upper class attempts to continue living lives of privilege while outside their estates masses of the poverty-stricken reside. Inside the estates, the wealthy employ servants to attend to their needs. Musicians are hired to perform during religious services. And dressed as animals, which have become a mythology, religious figures offer, “spiritual guidance, protection, and emotional comfort.”
Got it? Good, because that is the world of Her Holiness, the Winter Dog, a new opera composed by Curtis Rumrill with librettist Zachary Webber, performed and commissioned by Kamratōn with Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, Shana Simmons Dance, and musical director Daniel Curtis, and choreography by Shana Simmons.