Opera: it’s a genre with centuries of success to its name, characterized by numerous art forms coming together to create one fulfilling production. Invigorating music, sonorous stories, extravagant sets and garments, and the human voice are just a few of the components that give opera its distinguished flair. Read on to see how opera has adapted and stood the test of time, and how PARMA has seen its powerful storytelling capabilities flourish in recent releases.
Most commonly experienced in concert halls, opera is largely in part a “live genre.” With the introduction and prominent popularity of albums, however, opera can now be experienced from the comfort of one’s home, or taken on-the-go with streaming services. Even though a full scale opera can fit in one’s pocket these days, its integrity and grand presentation remains intact.
Opera will often take inspiration from classic literary texts, adapting them into a libretto and setting them to music, a production complete with intensive stage design and a roster of performers. With all of these components in motion, the genre was the height of artistic achievement in its early days. But even with modern assets, producing an opera is no small feat, and to this day requires finesse and excellence in its execution.
ARCHITECT – Lewis Spratlan
ARCHITECT from Pulitzer Prize-winner Lewis Spratlan with librettist and electroacoustic composers Jenny Kallick and John Downey explores the relationship between the aural and visual, how they interact, intertwine, and define each other. Based on the life and work of renowned 20th century architect Louis I. Kahn, the album deftly blends instrumental and vocal music with electroacoustic segments drawn from recordings created onsite at Kahn’s buildings, a sprawling, powerful, and evocative landscape that brings his work to life and demonstrates the architect’s assertion that “to hear a sound is to see a space.”
“It had been the intention from the outset of our ARCHITECT to include interludes derived from electroacoustic recordings of some aspects of Kahn’s buildings… The hope was to show the sound world of Kahn’s spaces, not as designed elements, but as concomitant, residual components of the buildings’ functions, thus a part of the total experience of the structures.”
Composer Lewis Spratlan