Dear Friends of White Snake Projects:
Thank you for taking a risk with us by supporting PermaDeath as audience members, donors, hosts, volunteers, creators, artists, panel members, and well-wishers. As I look back over PermaDeath, the most challenging production we’ve ever done, I’m filled with wonder at how we managed to do it!
There were so many moving parts that had to come together at the right time – the CGI led by the indefatigable Curvin Huber, electronics, Faceware, sound and visual effects which combined with acoustic voices and instruments to create the music of PermaDeath, exciting reverberating evocative music composed by Dan Visconti.
None of this would be possible without the committed, crazy and conscientious people on our team! What can I say about the students and faculty of RISD, Becker, and Lesley, except a big WOW! We were so lucky to have the best team of singers and musicians, both musically and in terms of attitude, as we experimented with click tracks, tempi, syncing, lag etc. And we had an inspired and unflappable creative team led by Sam Helfrich who put this show up with minimal fuss as we innovated our way to success.
Speaking of success, I was asked to define “success” in Opus Affairs’ first podcast in its “Visionaries” series. I explained that I rely on an inner metric of success. Some milestones I consider are: telling socially relevant stories, using innovative technology, achieving super-high production values on budget, entertaining audiences, and involving young people in the creation and consumption of opera. I believe we’ve hit these goals with PermaDeath and I’d like to share some anecdotes with you:
I’m going to end by recounting an encounter that has and continues to inspire me. A parent of a Boston Children’s Chorus’ member who sang in our 2016 production of Gilgamesh (part of Ouroboros Trilogy) reached out to me. She explained that “the experience shaped her [daughter] – it was a formative event in her life. She is turning sixteen in two weeks, and the only thing she wants for her birthday is an audio recording of the opera.” I was sad to tell this mother that we didn’t have a recording but that I would like to give her daughter tickets to PermaDeath for her birthday.
After Friday night’s show, I found a beautiful young woman waiting for me. She was bubbling with excitement, telling me that she and her friends were amazed, delighted and moved by PermaDeath. She handed me a card with a handwritten note:
“Participating in Gilgamesh . . . was one of the happiest, most fulfilling and transformative times of my life. I gained so much confidence, both musically and as a person . . . This world needs strong women more than ever right now, and when I think of strong women, I think of you. I cannot thank you enough for being such an influential role model to me and my friends. You have shown us all that women can accomplish absolutely anything they set their minds to.”
Inspiration is a two-way street.
This is success.
With much love and gratitude,