We are White Snake Projects, an activist opera company founded and led by an immigrant woman of color. After three years of exploring our identity, we have a vision and a game plan. We’ve put this vision into action by integrating social activism with original opera, partnering with other activists to cross-promote important social issues and opera, and redefining how opera is made by involving young people from our community.
We’re committed to original opera exploring current issues relevant to our times, building on our inaugural production of Ouroborous Trilogy – Naga, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Madame White Snake, and Gilgamesh (multiculturalism); REV. 23 (religious pluralism); and PermaDeath (inclusion, disability, and representation). Looking forward, 2019’s I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams is an immigration opera on the plight of Dreamers; 2020’s Cosmic Cowboy, confronts colonization, especially of America and Mars; and, 2021’s MONKEY: A Kung Fu Puppet Parable, explores faith and transformation in a multicultural setting.
Our shows are getting second lives. Madame White Snake has toured to Beijing, Taiwan and Hong Kong; REV. 23 is premiering at the Prototype Festival in New York in a new production, and I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams has secured a second run in Pittsburgh.
We’re committed to transmedia work, which tells stories across multiple platforms and formats using 21st-century digital technologies. We’ve tapped the expertise of area colleges to make opera with us, engaging young adults in the creative process. Our partners are Rhode Island School of Design (concept art and design), Lesley Art + Design (art, fabrication, and animation) and Becker College (virtual/augmented reality, real-time motion capture, 3D modeling, and animation). Our operas are programmed into the schools’ curricula and our designers guide students to produce assets for our shows. The thrill of seeing their work on stage invests students in this art form.
We’ve launched a multi-year community-based project, Sing Out Strong (SOS), that commissions composers and writers to create songs based on themes that flow from our operas. In 2019, SOS’s inaugural year, our theme was immigration (flowing from I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams), hence, Sing Out Strong: Immigrant Voices.
We’ve also integrated our mainstage shows with our community projects, a revolutionary move. After SOS tours Boston’s neighborhoods, it arrived on our mainstage as a prologue to our mainstage opera.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are moving our scheduled world premiere of Sing Out Strong: DeColonized Voices online, simultaneously streaming live on ZOOM, Facebook, and YouTube. Since technology has not been developed for fully live streaming performances with musicians spread over different locations, we pre-recorded the piano and cello parts and the singers will perform live to this accompaniment. We’ll unmute you at the end of each song so you can clap and cheer, just as you would at a concert.
Our Ticket Access Program (TAP) gives away one-third of all our seats to underserved communities, diversifying our audience across all demographics—age, income, ethnicity, and race. In 2018, we exceeded our goal by giving away more than one-third of the seats.
White Snake Projects is an Opera America Professional Company Member.