Muse of the Underworld: A Virtual Reality Opera
Muse of the Lower World will be a short, virtual reality (VR) opera based on the half-woman, half-bird sirens of Greek mythology that were cursed to use their beautiful voices to lure sailors to their deaths.
In our retelling of this myth, the siren laments her fate, and her inability to escape the cruel life to which she’s been cursed. On this day she pursues two sailors, but she’s challenged by one of them to show mercy. She considers the request, longing to be compassionate and take control of her destiny. She knows that this kindness will mean her death, but asks, “Will not this death, sweeten life, in these last breaths?”
This video shows some of the development process as we prepare for production.
A workshop performance was held on October 23, 2017 at Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, CA. In December 2017 this project was chosen to be presented as part of Stereopsia, an international VR symposium (organized in collaboration with the Hollywood-based Advanced Imaging Society) held in Brussels in December 2017. The project was featured in Stereopsia's "3D Film Booster" program, which is designed to help independent producers to find financing and to reach their market and audience.
Lauren Han, soprano
Lauren will perform the role of the siren in Muse of the Underworld. She is an opera singer, actress and model. She has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Bel Canto Institute in Florence, Italy. Lauren has won numerous awards for her singing. These awards include first place in the 2016 NATS-LA Competition, the performance award at the 2015 Bel Canto Institute and first place in the 2012 Los Angeles Young Musician Awards.
In this VR work it is our intent to allow a full immersion into all aspects of the opera. We imagine that this opera would be viewed not only on a VR headset but also in a “Digital Dome” with or without a live orchestra.
This document has the scripted action and libretto. The timing cannot be determined by page count as the music takes considerably longer than the dialogue and lyrics.
This is an early draft of the musical score written by Emer Kinsella. Please contact me for the latest draft.