My body a husk.
From dust to dust,
My self exploded
Into quarks and anti-quarks,
Letons, electrons, hadrons, bosons.
Scene 1 In Sonny’s Room and the Digital World
Sonny is in a video game tournament battling Niobe and her seven daughters and seven sons. Her team, Team Phoebus, is fielding two avatars, Apollo (Sonny’s) and Artemis (a friend’s). Niobe and her children are the avatars of Team Nyx, Team Phoebus' arch rival. The avatars play out the myth of the slaying of Niobe’s children by Apollo and Artemis, the twin children of Leta. After the defeat of Niobe, Apollo enters Sonny’s world. Sonny is exhausted. She has been diagnosed with a neurological disease similar to ALS. She doesn’t know how long she can continue to compete in video game tournaments. Apollo suggests that Team Phoebus (Apollo, Artemis, Adonis) challenge Team Nyx (Niobe, Marsyas, Aphrodite) to a duel to the death in the Tournament of Death. Because avatars die permanently in this competition, the jackpot is a whopping $3 million. Apollo tells Sonny that she can retire from gaming and pay for her care, if they win. Sonny rejects this. She is afraid of losing Apollo.
Scene 2 In the World of the Gods
As Sonny rests, Apollo replays an ancient feud in which he is challenged by the satyr, Marsyas, to a music competition. Apollo, god of music, is incredulous at the satyr’s temerity. Apollo wins the music competition and flays Marsyas alive.
Scene 3 In Sonny’s Room and the World of the Gods
Apollo and Sonny watch Adonis, another member of Team Phoebus, flirt with Aphrodite, a member of arch rival Team Nyx. Sonny bemoans the fact that Adonis is consorting with the enemy. Apollo, who is in love with Adonis, is heartbroken. The doorbell rings and Joey, Sonny’s part time caregiver arrives. Apollo asks, again, that Team Phoebus compete in the Tournament of Death. Sonny, again, rejects this request.
Scene 4 In the World of the Gods
Adonis and Artemis replay their mythological rivalry when Adonis boasts to Artemis, goddess of the hunt, that he is a better hunter than she is. An enraged Artemis challenges Adonis to a hunt for the largest wild boar. As Adonis sets off, Artemis tasks her familiar, a pet pig called MiniB, to lure Adonis to his death. MiniB pilots a giant Mech in the shape of a huge wild boar called Boris to engage Adonis. As they fight, Adonis cuts off one of Boris' legs. The giant Mech wobbles around and comes crashing down on Adonis. As he lies dying, Aphrodite and Apollo, Adonis' two lovers, rush to his side but cannot save him. A triumphant Artemis is crowned queen of the hunt.
Scene 5 In Sonny’s Room
Sonny obsesses about her wasting disease and growing lack of mobility. Apollo tells her that Adonis and Artemis, the other two members of Team Phoebus, have decided to compete in the Tournament of Death.
Scene 6 In Sonny’s Room and the World of the Gods
Sonny, Team Phoebus (Apollo, Artemis and Adonis) and Team Nyx (Niobe, Marsyas, and Aphrodite) are awake the night before the Tournament of Death. They wonder how, and if, they will survive this ultimate test.
Scene 7 In Sonny’s Room, the World of the Gods and the Digital World
The Tournament of Death is underway. In a chilling move, Apollo destroys Niobe’s fourteen children but is severely wounded by Marsyas. Desperately, Apollo summons his last ounce of energy and fries Niobe and Marsyas with a fireball just as Artemis is about to deal the deathblow to Aphrodite. Adonis launches himself at his team member, Artemis, in an attempt to save his lover, Aphrodite. Apollo weakly shouts a warning, but is too late. Adonis’s blow has struck Artemis down. As Apollo crawls to the mortally wounded Artemis, Niobe, in her death throes, rises and shoots at him. Sonny screams a warning and launches herself into the game to deflect Niobe’s shot from Apollo. She takes a direct hit from Niobe and collapses. Apollo cradles his friend and vows to follow her in death, wherever that takes them.
Scene 8 In Sonny’s Room
The doorbell rings. Joey enters. He sees Sonny lying on the floor, her burnt out computer equipment strewn about the room. As he rushes to Sonny’s side, he thinks he sees something that looks like a boar or a pig scuttling away into the shadows.
World premiere at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre in September 2018
Commissioned by White Snake Projects
Creator and librettist
Cerise Lim Jacobs
White Snake Projects
Set and Costume Designer
Digital Content Designer
Director of PreProduction and Animation