THEOTOKIA and the war reporter


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

Produced by Beth Morrison Projects, 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, and their premiere was presented by Stanford Live.  Subsequently, the opera suite was presented at Roulette in Brooklyn as part of Prototype Festival .

Read Mark DeChiazza's statement on creating projections for Visitations: Theotokia and The War Reporter as published in VCU's Blackbird, an online journal of literature and the arts. More info at the VISITATIONS website

Excerpt from WAR REPORTER at Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University

Projection content sample from THEOTOKIA

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