Video Design for Opera: Dreimaldrei Gleich Unendlich

A sampling of video from the production. The opening scene in the compilation (shown in the still image) has four overlayed video clips, each of which was independently controlled by a keyboard button. Moments in the opera had many cues happening simultaneously or in a precisely timed sequence.
Dreimaldrei gleich unendlich investigative reporting - Kenneth Roraback
Our investigative reporting clips were filmed on location at Georges Island in the Boston Harbor, in an old military fort. Used as a prison during the Civil War, Fort Warren is full of fantastically creepy locations. Filmed with a Canon Vixia camera and a Sennheiser MD46 microphone.
Dreimaldrei gleich unendlich projected video - Kenneth Roraback
A lament following the darkest moment of the opera. Video of a burning building was projected against the back wall, with atrocities of war fading in and out of the video image. Pictured above: a prisoner at Abu Ghraib, overlayed with video of the burning building. Created in response to the director’s concept for the scene.
Dreimaldrei gleich unendlich final scene - Kenneth Roraback
The final scene is not included due to nudity onstage. Video and images of divisions in society flashed across the screen while actors watched and ate TV dinners. The sequence opened with the Coca-Cola peace commercial from the Vietnam War, then devolved into a mix of Glenn Beck, ‘Fur Shame’ protesters, the Westboro Baptist Church, and others. Video created in response to the director’s concept of seeing images of ‘Us vs. Them’ flash across the screen.

'Project' => 'Design video for the American premier of Karola Obermüller and Peter Gilbert’s opera, 3 x 3 = ∞, in collaboration with the stage director, Copeland Woodruff.',

'Challenges' => 'In one month’s time, design, film, and implement a video design to act as a visual landscape throughout the hour-long opera, bringing together live, pre-recorded, and historical footage in order to develop themes of the production. Manage all of the technical aspects as well: routing a signal from any of three cameras to a computer, and from the computer out to five TVs and a projector.',

'Solutions' => 'I filmed mock ‘investigative reporting’ clips (think Geraldo Rivera meets Blair Witch Project) as well as abstract footage, such as TV static with faces that fade in and out of the screen. I also researched and sought out historical videos dealing with 1950’s escapism, atrocities of war, and the demonization of the ‘other.’ I selected clips from many different periods of United States history in order bring the issues of the Holocaust (as remembered by the protagonist) across time and into today’s world. I programmed a sequence of cues into Isadora, a program designed to provide interactive control over digital media and operated the video design live, during performances, by using keys on a keyboard, routing video signals via an analog/digital video converter and a vertical interval matrix switcher.'

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