A Steampunk Murder Mystery Opera

15 Jan

Well this is quite interesting.

So yet ANOTHER steampunk opera has arisen (there is already a second one in addition to mine, Queen Victoria’s Floating Garden of Secrets and Natural Wonders. I’ve posted on it before but if you can also just find them here.) and it looks VERY interesting indeed. It’s a steampunk murder mystery opera.

Damn good idea. It’s titled Miranda and it’s the brainchild of Kamala Sankaram who wrote the music and lyrics and performs the title role.

An audio sample from it:

Here’s a vid for their latest find raising effort:

If y’all don’t mind, i’m going to also just cut and paste a bit from a very nice and informative review of a performance from The New York Post:

“Opera takes its inspiration from all sorts of sources: plays, novels, even real life. But Kamala Sankaram’s “Miranda” must be the first to meld science fiction, a murder mystery and reality TV.

The one-act work. which recently opened at SoHo’s HERE, is set in a fictional near future, at a televised trial about the murder of a socialite named Miranda Wright.

First the court bailiff (Jerry Miller) warmed up the audience with a few jokes, then the “judge” appeared, in the form of computer animation with an Auto-Tuned voice. After viewing a series of musical numbers re-enacting the crime, the “jury” — actually, the theater audience — voted on which defendant was guilty.

Rising above all this gimmickry was a striking musical concept: Suspects and witnesses not only sang, but played an instrument, sometimes simultaneously. The versatility of the six-member company was put to the test by Sankaram’s eclectic score, ranging from stomping four-on-the-floor rock to delicate Mozartean arias.

The 33-year-old composer, who’s performed with the Philip Glass Ensemble and Wooster Group, also sang the title role, a wide-ranging tour de force for her versatile lyric soprano. Only moments after delivering a pop ballad, she flung out coloratura fireworks with plenty of operatic muscle.”

Like i said, REALLY interesting. I would love to see it.

For more you can check them out on their Indiegogo page.

(On a last note: Discussions occur around these areas as to whether our thing should actually be called an opera at all. While it does technically fit the bill being all singing and no dialogue, the music and singing is much more… musical-ly. Cabaret meets art rock. Not actual “opera”. No orchestra. No operatic singing. In fact i have gone on record stated that i hate operatic singing.

However, the name “steampunk opera” gets people REALLY interested, REALLY fast to the show as opposed to other ways of throwing it out. I would rather have a line around the corner of people coming to check the thing out while some columnists crucify me for claiming it’s an opera, as will happen i assure you, than to be exact, properly genre-nized and unnoticed. Anyway, this debate isn’t over. I have a feeling it’ll need sorted out down the road. I feel Amanda Palmer did it best when she invented the term ‘Brechtian Punk Cabaret’ for the Dresden Dolls to keep the press from labelling them “goths”. That’s probably the way to go.)

1 Comment

Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


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One response to “A Steampunk Murder Mystery Opera

  1. Rob Reese

    January 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Heya Paulms!
    To scatter your debate even further, I’ll let you know that MIRANDA does indeed have scenes containing spoken dialogue, and yet we’re still calling it an opera.

    Hope you’re well, and continued good luck on your project!

    Rob Reese
    Director / Co-Librettist
    The Steampunk Murder Mystery Opera


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