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Long Beach Opera announces inaugural Film Festival

The inaugural LBO Film Festival will take place over the weekend of July 16th and 17th at the Art Theatre, 2025 E 4th Street, Long Beach CA 90814, and will feature a unique selection of art and opera films. Co-curated by Bradford Nordeen of Dirty Looks and LBO’s Artistic Director James Darrah, The 2022 LBO Film Festival will run for two full days, and will include film screenings, live performances, and access to local businesses and restaurants throughout the weekend. Tickets at www.LongBeachOpera.org

The lineup will include a variety of artists exploring the overlapping worlds of opera and art film with live performances on Saturday, and feature the projects of unique filmmakers, dancers, composers, and opera singers on Sunday, including the world premiere of the LBO commissioned short film Entry and the LA area premiere of Gallant Indies, based on Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera-ballet that was directed by Clément Cogitore for the Opéra National de Paris. By bringing together urban dance and opera singing, they reinvent Jean-Philippe Rameau’s baroque masterpiece, Les Indes Galantes.

Current subscribers will have “all-access passes” for the entire weekend of events, and can select which events they wish to attend, or choose to attend the two full days. One day passes are available for general admission.

Heralded by the Wall Street Journal as “experimenting and forging a new art form”, Artistic Director James Darrah’s unique focus on the intersection of opera and film has been praised by the LA Times as “blow[ing] up an old art form for the ‘Insecure’ generation” and will now have an annual home in the first LBO Film Festival- a trailblazing two day series of curated screenings, premieres and events celebrating the cinematic exploration of opera’s historical and current boundary-breaking collision with film with a wide array of collaborations from film, television and opera creatives.


Borrowing from Werner Schroeter’s cinematic use of the disembodied vocal, the performances assembled here expand and deepen the context and mythology of the originary artworks. Dorian Wood’s original composition for Hernandez’s Salome, responds to the work’s ever-shifting soundtrack and luminal screening contexts. Ron Athey premieres his video collaboration with Hermes Pittakos, via a live ceremonial procession and a score performed by Xiu Xiu. Julianna Barwick casts a dreamy spell with her multi-tracked vocal take on a classic work of avant-garde, occult cinema.

The Mexican-born, Teo Hernandez, embarked on a self-imposed exile to Paris in the late 1960s and became part of the super8 film movement, L’Ecole du Corps. This loose-knit group of filmmakers used film to elliptically document and emulate the body in movement. Hernandez’s reworking of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé is impressionistic, moving over the surface of fabrics and architecture with as much care as it weaves its story arc. The film was initially projected at varying speeds, with differing soundtracks provided by the filmmaker, who requested that it be shown late in the evening, to best induce its dream-like trance upon audiences. For this presentation, Salomé screens with an original soundtrack performed by Dorian Wood, marrying the operatic evocations of Wood’s singular voice with Hernandez’s baroque cinematography

For the premiere of “Pasiphaë”- Ron Athey will lead performers (including Divinity P. Fudge, Lisa Teasley, soprano Anna Schubert and Karen Lofgren) in a pageant which consists of gowns and gear from the last 30 years of his performance archive, public are encouraged to gather and participate in the procession prior to the screening and wear fancy (or kink wear), flowers, herbs and any small instruments are welcome. The procession and performance piece will wrap around 4th street leading into the Art Theater and the U.S. premiere of Pasiphäe, The Witch Queen of Crete: A Glory Hole Origin Story will follow.

Julianna Barwick will close out a trio of titles, with a live performance accompanying the 16mm screening of a classic work of the American Avant-Garde. Saddled next to Charles Atlas’ Son of Sam and Delilah, which features performances by John Kelly, Dancenoise, Deee-Lite and Hapi Phace, and Mariah Garnett’s recent short video, which features soprano Breanna Sinclairé and tenor, Christopher Paul Craig performing a composition derived from Ruth Lynda Deyo, spiritualist, synesthete, and composer. Deyo moved to Cairo in 1924, where she began to have visions transmitted by spirits. Deyo meticulously transcribed her visions and communications, as well as her political, social, and financial anxieties, in a series of diaries, eventually composing an opera based on the lives of Egyptian pharaohs Akhenaten and Tutankhamen.

For tickets and information visit Long Beach Opera’s Website.

This article was released by the Long Beach Opera.