Entanglementing: Acts 1 and 2
Entanglementing is a ‘New Opera’ utilizing electronic score, solo voice, multi-channel audio, video, and volume. It sounds and looks nothing like traditional opera, employing: electronics, noise, a Natural American vocal style shifting between crooner, R&B, and No-Ego.
Narrative phrases freely swap words for sounds and images; changing modalities mid-“sentence” & creating expansive emotional & aesthetic leaps.
The overarching meta-narrative is about America’s foreign interventionist policies. The smaller protagonist’s narrative follows the actions and ideas of a mysterious man who’s grappling with guilt for having participated in an overseas action (revealed in due course) on behalf of his government.
Libretto, Music, Video, Staging, Performance by Sam Genovese
Special thanks - Molly Holm and James Fei
PERFORMANCE HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT
2016 — Act 1 staged at Signal Flow Festival (Mills College); Margaret Lyon Music Prize
2017 — Act 2 staged at Orange Room, Oakland, California
2019 — Album will be released July 4, 2019
THEMES AND MEANINGS
The main themes employed in the libretto are of twins and doubles, splitting in half, various types of crossing, and a desire to escape. Language is also used to create sonic motifs and a certain kind of musicality via repetition.
The meaning of the title Entanglementing is twofold. The first meaning is quite direct as it relates to the narrative. To be entangled is to be entwined or ensnared in something. That definition points directly to the interventionist policies of the Man’s government in another nation (developed in act 2) and also with the Man’s feelings of being ensnared in the mission. The second meaning of entanglement as it relates to the opera comes loosely from quantum mechanics. When pairs of particles are generated concurrently, they behave not as separate units, but as a single ‘entwined’ unit. This is due to the fact that once the spin direction of one of the particles is measured, the other spinning particle of the pair exhibits the opposite spin direction. In the second act of Entanglementing the Man uses government technology to split himself into two beings, one dark and the other light, or to put it another way, they are opposites.
PRODUCTION AUDIO NOTE FOR THE VIDEO BELOW
From 01:13 - 02:30 I was forced to use audio recorded from the camera microphones, but after 02:30 the vocal is a clean feed from the mixing board