I heard *Times3 (Times x Times x Times)* on March 5, 2021 (it was first on the website in January). It was the last show I heard in the Prototype Opera season. I was pleased that it was extended and then extended again.
I often use the verb “saw” when I talk about an opera, but in this case it was truly “heard” because it was audio only. It was a piece about Times Square written by composer Pamela Z and theatre artist Geoff Sobelle. This is how it was described on the website:
“Composer Pamela Z and theatre artist Geoff Sobelle collaborate on a site-specific sonic journey through Times Square – past, present and imagined… What was this place? What is this place? And how did we get here? In this work of sound and space, the listener is brought into a realm where the city and score come together and fall apart and come together again.
“Take a walk in Times Square and hear a score crafted specifically for your experience. Or listen in the comfort of your home and imagine a city carved by countless hands from a place once thick with trees… which may be headed that way again. This music, created through impressions of a space, was composed for listeners to tune themselves to the forces underfoot, back in time, and down the road. It is a soundscape created for you to experience the city.”
It was free, it was 30 minutes long. That’s a good start, right? I really enjoyed it, it was very inventive with the sound design and use of music, the layering of spoken text and music, the mixture of acoustic and electronic. Very little singing, which is an interesting choice for something defining itself (at least loosely) as an opera.
Here's Pamela Z performing a piece she wrote for voice and electronics: