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Author Archives: Arlene Elkins

Press Release: Team of Tech Innovators Drives Virtual Opera Alice in the Pandemic

Alice in the Pandemic, a new virtual opera from activist opera company White Snake Projects, led by creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs, represents an ingenious adaptation to the changed performing arts environment. Renowned for its pioneering work with new technology onstage, the company has now characteristically reached out to…

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by Arlene Elkins , 1 year ago

PRESS RELEASE: Responding to Challenge of COVID-19 Crisis, Creator and Librettist Cerise Jacobs and White Snake Projects Pivot from Live Performance to Virtual Opera with Premiere of Alice in the Pandemic (Oct 22–27)

As COVID-19 plays havoc with arts programming around the globe, creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs and her activist opera company, White Snake Projects, are once again pointing the way ahead, with a nimble pivot to sidestep the uncertainty surrounding fall programming.

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by Arlene Elkins , 1 year ago

Press Release: Second Season of White Snake Projects Community Engagement Initiative, Sing Out Strong: DeColonized Voices, Moves Online

Creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs and her activist opera company, White Snake Projects, are proud to announce the second season of the community engagement initiative Sing Out Strong, fostering the creation of new songs on themes arising from the company’s mainstage operas. Sing Out Strong: DeColonized Voices will complement…

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by Arlene Elkins , 1 year ago

Press Release: Resonance Works Pittsburgh becomes the second company to present acclaimed immigration opera, ‘I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams.’

On October 23 & 25, RESONANCE WORKS will open its 2020-2021 season with I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams at the New Hazlett Theater on Pittsburgh’s North Side. A collaboration between composer Jorge Sosa and creator and librettist Cerise Lim Jacobs, this acclaimed new opera champions the near-perpetual struggles of immigrants and the often-overlooked complexities of their stories. Building on its reputation for bringing the most important new American music to Pittsburgh audiences, Resonance Works becomes only the second company to present this celebrated new work.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

PRESS RELEASE: Cerise Jacobs focuses on colonization with new opera, “Cosmic Cowboy” (Sep 25-27)

The newest opera from creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs and her activist opera company, White Snake Projects, is titled Cosmic Cowboy: a work of poli sci-fi that blends ancient history and fantasy to talk about the subject of colonization.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Press Release: OPERA America Awards First-Ever IDEA Opera Grants For Composers and Librettists of Color

OPERA America has awarded the inaugural cycle of IDEA Opera Grants (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) to composer Kui Dong and librettist Monica Datta for Hu Tong (Narrow Alley) and composer Daniel Reza Sabzghabaei and librettists Mina Salehpour and Yashar Saghai for The Veil.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Press Release: White Snake Projects’ I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams Wows Critics, While Cerise Jacobs and Julian Wachner’s REV. 23 Receives New Production at Prototype Festival (Jan 17-18)

Following a chorus of critical praise for creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs and composer Jorge Sosa’s immigrant-themed opera, I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams, Jacobs’s opera REV. 23, composed by Julian Wachner, will receive its New York premiere in a new production by Los Angeles-based director James Darrah at the 2020 Prototype Festival (Jan 17-18).

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Activist Blog: “We All Have Learning to Do”

I can’t think of any recent moment in which I have been more moved than I was while watching the premiere of I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. It was truly a masterpiece; a work that was eye-opening and intimate in addition to its unquestionable beauty. Upon leaving, I felt shaken by its tragedy, but also empowered by its delivery, especially since it was done with a brilliant all-female cast.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

A Note From Dreamer Director Elena Araoz

This opera about immigrants is deeply and entirely American.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Q+A with Jorge Sosa

Composer Jorge Sosa was all set to work with White snake Projects on the opera, Monkey: A Kung Fu Parable when President Trump revoked the DACA act. He and Cerise put Monkey aside and started work on I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. Jorge talked with us about working with WSP, his influences, and his own experiences as an immigrant.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Q+A with Maria Sensi Sellner

Conductor Maria Sensi Sellner took a break from rehearsal to answer a few of our questions about her pre-performance rituals and more!

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Q+A with Kirsten Chambers

Soprano Kirsten Chambers has her hands full in I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams, playing the gangsters who threaten Singa and Rosa's families, their mothers, and Rosa's prosecutor. Kirsten took a break from juggling so many roles to talk about being in Dreamer.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Q+A with Isis and Amy

On this day three years ago, my friends and I sat in the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre for the world premiere of Gilgamesh. After months of rehearsing and workshopping and preparing, we and our choir, the Boston Children’s Chorus, were ready to share the masterpiece that we’d been so lucky to take part in with the world.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Q+A with Carla López-Speziale

Mezzo-soprano Carla López-Speziale plays Rosa, the titular Dreamer in I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. We caught up with Carla during rehearsals and talked to her about her character, yoga, and more.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Q+A with Helen Zhibing Huang

Soprano Helen Zhibing Huang is a White Snake Projects veteran, having previously sung in workshops for Gilgamesh and REV. 23, as well as writing the song "I Can’t Understand a Word You’re Saying" alongside composer Michele Cheng for Sing Out Strong: Immigrant Voices. She is now performing in our main stage opera, I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Press Release: White Snake Projects’ New Opera – I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams – examines Range of Immigrant Experience at Emerson Paramount Theater in Boston (Sep 20-22)

I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams, the newest opera from creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs, with a score by composer Jorge Sosa, premieres September 20-22 on the Robert J. Orchard Stage of Boston’s Emerson Paramount Theater.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

“We Are Survivors”

Something about live music has always been especially emotive to me. Listening to performers often leaves me speechless, introspective, marveling at each musician continuously perfecting their craft. It’s no surprise that I find myself at any concert I can possibly attend. So when as a part of my internship, I helped organize the Sing Out Strong: Immigrant Voices community concert series, I learned to appreciate the work that goes into concerts with a new perspective.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Activist Blog: Thoughts on Sing Out Strong Immigrant Voices

Recently, immigration has been a recurring topic in the media. We hear about refugee crises in foreign countries daily.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Activist Blog: Art + Activism

There aren’t many people who can convince me to put aside my studying during finals week. But when I received an invitation to Cerise’s celebration of White Snake Projects' three years of art + activism for that very same week, I didn’t question my attendance for a moment. I knew that whatever the evening would hold, it would be a fantastic one. My suspicions were proven correct.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Press Release: Tickets on Sale Today, May 15, for White Snake Projects’ New Opera I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams, Composed by Jorge Sosa to a Libretto by Cerise Jacobs

Tickets go on sale today, May 15, for White Snake Projects’ I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams, the newest opera from creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs, premiering September 20-22 on the Robert J. Orchard Stage of Boston’s Emerson Paramount Theater. Composed by Jorge Sosa, the opera explores immigration, dislocation, and transformation in America.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Press Release: White Snake Projects Announces Community Songwriting Project Sing Out Strong Immigrant Voices

Creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs and her production company, White Snake Projects, are proud to announce the launch of the new multi-year community engagement initiative Sing Out Strong, which will foster the creation of new songs on themes arising from the company’s mainstage operas.

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by Arlene Elkins , 2 years ago

Activist Blog: Thoughts About Dreamer

Stories about Dreamers have dominated headlines in recent months due to the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration. We are bombarded with statistics and it becomes nearly impossible to pick out the truth from the mess of “alternative facts”. One day, the public will be uplifted by the stories of undocumented immigrants who have met great success, and the next, there will be heart-wrenching videos of traumatized children sitting alone in cages.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

Dreamer Workshop Thoughts From the BCC

A few months ago, we held the first workshop for I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams with the full cast, including the Boston Children's Chorus, under the direction of Jason Holmes. After the workshop, Jason had them reflect on the opera. This what they said.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

Press Release: Creator and Librettist Cerise Jacobs Teams with Composer Jorge Sosa for Immigrant Opera, I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams

The newest project from creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs takes on an unusually topical subject for opera: immigration.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

Opera America to Launch New Grant Initiative for Composers and Librettists of Color

OPERA America, the national service organization for opera and the nation's leading champion for American opera, is pleased to announce the launch of its newest program: IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access) Opera Grants, made possible through the generosity of the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

Activist Blog: “Brain Power of Students”

In a rapidly evolving world, opera remains a powerfully timeless form of expression. PermaDeath took themes of classic opera as its vehicle to capture modern ideas that captivate today’s youth.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

Activist Blog: “I Am Not Your Typical Opera Patron”

I am not your typical opera patron. I’m a sophomore in high school, and although I often profess my love for musical theatre, it is in reference to the works of Lin-Manuel Miranda as opposed those of Verdi and Puccini.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

Cerise Jacobs premieres “Madame White Snake” in Hong Kong in spring 2019 

Jacobs’s first opera, Madame White Snake, which premiered in Boston in 2010 and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for music the following year for the score by composer Zhou Long, will be given its Hong Kong premiere in two performances at the 47th Hong Kong Arts Festival in March of next year.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

Dress Rehearsal Videos

Composer Dan Visconti took a few videos during this week's dress rehearsals.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

PermaDeath on Boston 25 News

Segment originally aired September 25, 2018 on Boston 25 News.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

Meet Team Nyx

The three Team Nyx singers (Shirin Eskandani, Chris Carbin, and Stephen Carroll) took some time out of their busy rehearsal schedule to answer a few of our questions.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

Meet Team Phoebus

The voices behind Team Phoebus take a break from rehearsals to speak with us about PermaDeath's technology, video games, and their love of baking.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

A Note from PermaDeath Composer Dan Visconti

Why are we here, and what happens when we die?

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

PermaDeath, a New Video Game Opera from Creator and Librettist Cerise Jacobs and Composer Dan Visconti, Premieres in Boston Sep 27-29

The world premiere of the video game opera PermaDeath, written by creator and librettist Cerise Jacobs and composed by Dan Visconti, the composer of Opera Philadelphia’s recent Andy Warhol-themed ANDY: A Popera, takes place at Boston’s Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater from September 27-29.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

How to use PermaDeath’s Companion App

Have you downloaded the companion app to PermaDeath yet? Created by students from Becker College, the app allows you to further explore the PermaDeath world and its characters. Each character has its own icon--we call them triggers--that you can find on our website and in the show's program.

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by Arlene Elkins , 3 years ago

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