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The Story Behind Libertaria: The Virtual Opera


THE STORY BEHIND LIBERTARIA

In 2011 I started writing a story about a young geneticist that worked in a cutting edge facility that absorbed the energy from the ill and dying to make a new serum that rejuvenated the younger, healthy populace. In the short story, the scientist, orphaned at a young age, discovered that one of her test subjects was actually her mother. The short story evolved over time and instead of focusing on the scientists, the young girl was placed in the genetics factory herself, escaping it to discover her addict father runs the resistance against the factory. With a hundred twists and turns, Libertaria tells the story with true operatic drama and sci-fi energy.

drone
Drones Destroy the Eastern United States in Libertaria

Production for Libertaria was entirely online. The cast auditioned virtually through Music Xray and other sites, the animators worked together using a machinima program called Moviestorm, communication continued through e-mail and facebook. The composer hasn't met the majority of the cast and crew in person.



Libertaria is an opera for the Digital Age. Created with virtual characters in a computer-generated environment, Libertaria is easily disseminated through the internet and simple DVDs. An animated opera offers a lower cost than a full live production, although there has been acoustic versions of songs like Lonely Mother's Cry.

Libertaria makes a statement about our current governmental state, where poverty and corruption, spying and control, and loss of life is an everyday reality. Before the NSA drones scandal or the data collection from Verizon, or even more benign projects like cataloging genetic test results, Libertaria  existed in screenplay form. Now the topics discussed in this art film are even more important, relevant, eye-opening. In the futuristic dystopia, war has ravaged the county and only pharmaceutical corporations and the government have the ability to make life in a world where natural procreation has become a rarity due to radioactive fallout. In the opera, the homeless, the ill, the orphaned, and the elderly are all grouped together as fodder for the Factory, not too far away from our reality today where 1 in 4 American children are impoverished, our veterans come home to mental illness and homelessness, and the elderly and unwanted children are forgotten and destroyed. There are lighter points in the opera, the character Simeon is fun-loving and a bit whacky, the tunes run the gamut of jazzy tunes to exciting marches and innovative electronica. I won't give away the ending, but Libertaria certainly lives up to its operatic predecessors in drama and excitement. 

In the end Libertaria is a groundbreaking opera experiment. Creating an opera for a fraction of a budget, an opera that requires no rehearsals to enjoy, appeals to the masses, and has a diverse cast of characters reflecting the global nature of our culture. Libertaria questions our current sociopolitical reality and the actions of the government, it questions war and even family. Libertaria challenges musically and ideologically and will change our time.
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