Visitations: Theotokia and The War Reporter

Video Projection Design: Mark DeChiazza

Two new operas by an award-winning creative team and an all-star cast of leading performers from the worlds of opera, chamber music, and contemporary music. The War Reporter depicts the true story of the inner struggle of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, Paul Watson, who believes he is being haunted by the spirit of the American soldier, whose mutilated body he photographed in the streets of Mogadishu in 1993. Its counterpart, Theotokia presents the hallucinatory voices of a delusional schizophrenia who believes he is God.  Composed by Jonathan Berger, with libretto by Dan O'Brien, the operas were directed by Rinde Eckert, produced by Beth Morrison. and their premiere was presented by Stanford Live.  Subsequently, the opera suite was presented at Roulette in Brooklyn as part of Morrison's Prototype Festival .

DeChiazza re-shaped his design to fit Roulette in Brooklyn, a venue diametrically dissimilar to Stanford's Bing Concert Hall where the work premiered.


Select Press Quote

“Video by Mark DeChiazza was effective because the selection of images were simple and minimal— it focused on dripping splotches or smoke from a candle or fragments of photos. These projections were directly related to the music— the smoke dances to the singer’s breath in some mysterious electronic connection and rhythms of the percussion triggered lights and video events. The use of video at live concerts has become a full-fledged genre thanks to greater availability of the technology, but like a dancer’s choreography, it only makes sense when the video and music are intimately linked. Otherwise it’s video with music playing in the background. This was a case of the former, with video that dances to the phrases being played in electronically accurate synchronicity.”

— BEERI MOALEM—San Francisco Examiner