Play: The Game or Game: The Play

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RickBurkhardtThis world premiere opera by composer and theater artist Rick Burkhardt with stage direction by Metropolitan Opera director Sarah Meyers promises to be one of Guerilla Opera’s most avant-garde experiences. In present day four friends convene in a living room, chatting and sitting around a board game called BLACKOUT, which takes place during the blitz on London in 1940. Three of them have played the game before and the fourth learns the rules as they play. Each character in the American living room slowly starts to inhabit the British character they play in the game as time and space slowly begin to skew.

The opera is an investigation of game playing as a social activity which transforms the players and their relationships to one another. Four singer/actors paired with four instrumentalist/actors are depicted playing a board game in which the board literally folds out onto the stage with the audience in-the-round. The sound world develops from the actual sounds of the game (rolling dice, shuffling cards, moving small game pieces, etc.) and extends into those of the musical instruments (percussion, violin, saxophone, and clarinet).