honoria (honoria-opera) Tue 26 Dec 00 06:54
As you say, Scott, "cyberrelationships are especially vulnerable to illusions and false expectations." That is what the plot is based upon. The unique mysteries that internet relationships are based on is the story line of the libretto. Bookish is the only character to run off with his clone but all the characters are definitely seduced (except one) in the electronic dance of desire. The dramaturge and the artistic director can decide how the clones are realized. In several dramatized readings modern dancers danced the clones. The dances have been very sexy including a powerful and hypnotic male strip by Bryan Green. In one scene of the opera the character .rez dances around a fire and strips to his soul. Ciberspazio is a place that can be staged in any number of ways incorporating metaphors for the web and electronic communication. Three props are actually dictated by the story but everything else is open for interpretation. The first prop is a large lava lamp. The clones are born from the lamp. The lava lamp represents the pre-net communities of the 60's and liquid identity of the net. The second prop is the fire which is the age-old human gathering place and represents the fire of electrons and the heat of passion. The third prop is a gondola in the last scene. The gondola represents the marriage of technology, history, and buoyant beauty. So the clones can be represented as concrete real people, abstract desires, dreams or combinations. The story does not say what they are. I look forward to seeing how the clones will be realized.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 26 Dec 00 11:48
Or how many ways they'll be realized!
honoria (honoria-opera) Tue 26 Dec 00 16:08
Kafclown, Your ideas are great. Recently Yacov Sharir, the director of a modern dance company in Austin has agreed to produce the cyberopera, probably in the 2001-2002 season. Yacov has been incorporating high tech design in his dancework for years. He is looking for partnership with an opera company. He gave the libretto to a dramaturge who has agreed to work on it -- so it looks like we will be able to see some more singing and less reading and recitals. I'm sure sensual dancing will also be incorporated into the performance.
David Scott Marley (nightdog) Tue 26 Dec 00 17:38
Congratulations! That sounds like wonderful news. Is .rez one of the clones or one of the main characters? Stripping to your soul is an interesting image -- but is it someone stripping to his soul online, or a clone convincing someone else that he's stripping to his soul -- just presenting yet another mask that he hopes is what the other person wants to see? I'm also curious about something kafclown asked about: What do you think might be some of the changes made as you turn this into a work for the stage? What do you think it is about the work in its present form that keeps it from being staged as it is? You say you've already had some readings and recitals -- can you tell us something about them, how they worked, and what you learned from them?
honoria (honoria-opera) Tue 26 Dec 00 18:19
.rez is one of the characters, not a clone. He's an impulsive and passionate young man who seeks a life partner in his clone. A person who loved .rez wrote the fire dance aria about .rez and one of many times their virtual community met in real life. One season I saw baritone Leroy Villanueva perform in the Austin Lyric Opera and I could clearly see him in the role of .rez. I found his email address and contacted him. He gave me the name of his agent. I called his agent in NY who said that Mr. Villanueva had heard of the cyberopera and would like to workshop it with us. At that time I didn't realize just how far in the future the workshopping might be. But I felt I had to tell the agent about .rez's fire dance aria. The agent said, "Let me get this right -- you want Leroy to do a strip?" I replied, "Not just a strip, I want Leroy to strip to his SOUL." His agent said, "Oh Leroy can do THAT," in a way that implied Leroy could do the impossible quite naturally. I could tell by Leroy's strong acting and aethleticism on stage that he could pull off both the fire dance and the aria. Bryan Green has danced the stip to the soul and it was very beautiful. .rez himself performed a dramatic reading of the scene in the original webcast and in the wetware reading. Bruce Cane is going to sing .rez in the next recital and he is eager to see the score develop to the fire aria to see what the part might require. It will be interesting to stage.
honoria (honoria-opera) Tue 26 Dec 00 18:48
-- What do you think it is about the work in its present form that keeps it from being staged as it is? The work is in a form that was developed by people who do not know the demands of a libretto. For example, that must be sung as music and tell a story performed as a drama. The text collection and its editing were done with a view that the result would be an opera, but with a naive view of actual elements of a good libretto. Originally it was a one semester project but over time so many people have worked on it I feel a sense of responsibility to do my best to see it staged. It is ready to transfer into the hands of a professional. Yacov has the theatrical knowledge and connections to bring the story off the screen and onto the stage. -- What changes will be made to turn the cyberopera into a work for the stage? The libretto needs narrative development. I am eager to see how dramatists and directors will work with the material. I'm sure it will be changed a lot from what it is now but I think most of the arias will remain. The story will be tightened and refined. -- You say you've already had some readings and recitals -- can you tell us something about them, how they worked, and what you learned from them? READINGS: There have been five readings of the whole libretto with ten people taking the parts of the four humans, their four clones, the oracle, and the cyborg. We did the readings to see the story development process and also to webcast the opera's progress. We learned a lot from each reading, for example if the dialog was working, if the arias were in the right places, to give composer George a chance to see the whole plot, etc. RECITALS: The first recital we called geurilla opera. We set up a booth in the tradeshow of the SXSW Technology Conference and produced a ten minute webcast from the showroom without asking permission. That was really fun. It shocked our tradeshow neighbors when the singing commenced. There are some quicktime clips of it on the website with Janet Davidson singing and Bryan Green dancing. The next year we won the Texas Interactive Award at SXSW and the following year the cyberopera opened the SXSW Interactive Festival by invitation with the recital that kafclown mentioned. We've learned to appreciate the complexity of opera productions and to strive to interest professional opera producers in the cyberopera.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Fri 29 Dec 00 19:53
Honoria, could you talk about how .rez and others in the opera relate to real persons who were involved in the creation of the piece, including the character honoria, how she relates to the person honoria, and perhaps how the person honoria relates to Madelyn Starbuck? I've always been fascinated by the aspect of fluid identity in your various projects.
honoria (honoria-opera) Sat 30 Dec 00 16:16
Hi Jon, Welcome back. Hope your holidays are very fun. The characters in the opera all relate to the personalities of their real human counterparts. .rez is an idealistic and passionate young man with very romantic ideas about relationships. Much of the .rez character was written by the leri group, the online community that the real .rez belonged to when I met him. Sandy is based on Sandy Stone. Her character is a muscian and philosopher. Sandy's text was written by several of her students and other people who know her. Bookish is an intellectual who lives in Ohio. I met him once. He lives for bookstores, in fact, he now owns one, Pauper's Books in Bolling Green. The text for bookish was written by a number of people who are theorists in communications and networks. We used these real personalities to collate the text that we received. If the poetry just sounded right for bookish, or for the oracle we applied it to that character and worked out the sequence and story gradually as the personalities' text accumulated. The honoria character is based on me as an artist venturing into the online world from the art world, specifically the international snail mail linked world of correspondence art. Honoria experiences the other characters and clones with a certain detatchment and watches patterns emerge. The whole opera may be her dream or her creation or she may be the dream or creation of the oracle/cyborg. But at the end the dream, whosever it was comes true in a moment of color truth and beauty. Honoria was a name I chose when I started my life as a networker in a pen pal club, then in mail art. She came from Dorothy L. Sayers wonderful 1930's murder mystery series. She was Lord Peter Whimsy's mother, the Dowager Duches of Denver, who liked to write letters and frequently misused words in a witty way and had no worries about money. honoria was a natural extension of that persona for my online persona too but she was part of my life/lives before my online experiences. She came to me at a time when I was too busy to just be one person acting as both an artist and as head of household. So I split the two jobs into the two characters. Honoria is the artist and risk-taker. Madelyn is the person who holds everything together and pays the bills. It's easier to have the two of us handling things instead of just one multi-multi-tasking person. I recommend split personalitying yourself, especially if you are going to tackle big projects that last for years. I have some other personalities that come in handy when I need to have some other voices. They would have been here too but Madelyn won't let them all have well accounts. Since honoria handles all the opera stuff she ends up doing Madelyn type things like writing proposals and paying for things like honoraria for singers, sound equipment, and fees. She is not built for administrivia and can't wait to unload that part of the production to professionals but she's learned a lot in the process. For years honoria has been the main character in Madelyn's life. Many people don't know honoria has another name.
honoria (honoria-opera) Sun 31 Dec 00 18:20
Since this is the last day of this interview I'd like to thank Scott and Jon for asking such interesting questions. I'm looking forward to Bruce Sterling's interview next year/millennium on the morrow. ciao! and happy new year!!!
Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 1 Jan 01 01:31
Thanks for being such a great guest, honoria, and for hanging in there over the holidays! And thanks, too, to nightdog for being such a great interviewer!
David Scott Marley (nightdog) Mon 1 Jan 01 12:20
Thanks, and thanks to honoria -- I've had a good time.
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Mon 1 Jan 01 15:48
honoria (honoria-opera) Thu 5 Apr 01 18:36
Cyberopera News!!! Lovesong & fleurish, honoria ----------------------------------------------------- From: Allucquere Rosanne Stone <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 02:21:17 -0500 Subject: discuss: WAY TO GO, HONORIA! From April 18th to 23rd, Valencia, Spain becomes the Shakespeare capital of the world, and our own Honoria's cyberopera "Honoria in Ciberspazio" (http://www.cyberopera.org) was chosen to be the most important event in the opening ceremony of the Seventh World Shakespeare Congress. Now, as of this evening, even better news has arrived. The Fura Dels Baus, previously described in a posting here a few days ago, has accepted an offer to make "Honoria in Ciberspazio" into their eighth artistic project. During the World Shakespeare Congress, twenty-five actors, musicians and dancers, twelve technicians, and twenty-five Valencian students under the direction of Charles Padrissa (Fura Dels Baus) and Vicente Forés (University of Valencia) will develop a complete musical score online as specified in Honoria's original proposal, and the libretto will be translated into most of the languages that will be spoken at the Congress. Professor Flores comments: "They used to translate Shakespeare; now "Honoria" will change their lives." "Honoria in Ciberspazio" was workshopped as an ACTLab and CWRL University of Texas at Austin project and had its premiere webcast in 1995 before webcasts as we know them existed, as a CU-SeeMe transmission originating from a makeshift proscenium stage in Sandy Stone's living room. Online interest was so great that our primitive servers buckled under the load. The original cast included John Slatin as the Blind Prophet of Cyberspace; Sandy Stone as the Cyborg; Linda Montano as Sandy Stone; Scott Alton Dulaney as Honoria; Geoffry Thomas as Bookish; Heath Rezabek as Rez; also starring Bryan Green, Justin Smith, Heather Kelley Leeway, Barna Kantor, Knut Graf, Ryan Goertz, and (shortly) George Oldziey. Subsequently, the opera has been webcast and performed live many times. It has won more awards than can be mentioned here. Over the years other organizations have attempted to lay claim to the title "First Opera in Cyberspace". "Honoria in Ciberspazio" still precedes the earliest of them by more than a year. An ACTLab contingent, led by Honoria herself, will be present in Valencia for the unveiling of the new project. Broadcast and webnews are scheduled for Thursday, April 19th and Friday, April 20th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Here's kudos to Honoria for the vision and persistence to bring to fruition a groundbreaking, worldchanging idea. And the fun's just beginning. *** THEY USED TO TRANSLATE SHAKESPEARE *** *** NOW HONORIA WILL CHANGE THEIR LIVES *** --- Take Risks -- Make Stuff -- Think Convergent Media ---
Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 5 Apr 01 18:55
Congratulations, honoria!! How exciting. What an honor!
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 5 Apr 01 20:45
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Fri 6 Apr 01 13:54
What excellent news! Congrats, honoria.
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