Sunday, October 20, 2013

KUBLAI KHAN DOES LA

World's first live 'wireless opera' baffles commuters at L.A.'s Union Station 

Italo Calvino's novel, Invisible Cities, 
a tale of Marco Polo in 13th century Mongolia, 
is now an interactive opera score, 
staged like a flashmob, delivered wifi style— 
only there is no stage, there are no seats, 
no separation between performer & audience—
only surreal groups of singers, dancers & art 
patrons dressed to the nines, with wireless head
phones, wandering the station to and fro
listening to a grand central motherboard.
In the Art Deco halls of Union Station, 
every seat is the best seat in the house—
only there are no seats. None.
It's a standing room only affair.
Opera buffs, smiling beatifically, touch
their ears, wade through a nervous crowd
to find the deep end of the score,
or the soprano's disembodied aria.
At the old ticket booth, an orchestra tunes inward,
plays invisible music for itself, not the audience.
And the fourth wall is never broken. Each holds.
There is, however, a fifth wall of baffled LA commuters
who thinking they're trapped in a medieval realm movie,
or held prisoner by a possessed karaoke video game—
probably feel they're in need of some air,
or perhaps the hair of the dog—
or maybe a bloody fifth of that damned dog
to recover from the bizarre experience
of seeing Kublai Khan singing opera
and dancing solo in a station of the metro.
No pleasure domes. No cities of desire.
But it adds a whole new level to
Marco.
          Polo.

All aboard?





World's first live 'wireless opera' baffles commuters at L.A.'s Union Station

THis was a case of ekphrastic poetry from news photos.

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