By MISHA PENTON
I’m the Artistic Director, Founder and Principal Cat Herder of Divergence Vocal Theater, as well as one of the Performer-Creators that comprise our intimate, yet stunning (if I don’t say so myself) ensemble of professional opera artists, media designers and multi-performing arts folk. I’m excited to write about Divergence, its inception, our continuing work, and the world premier of our new company created opera-theater piece, Selkie, a sea tale.
Look Back, Look Forward
I formed Divergence in the summer of 2008 as an adventure-to-adventure outlet for my musical interests and singer-centered creative pursuits, as well as knowing that our work is a catalyst for change in the classical industry. Each production has been a world premier of sorts: completely new adaptations of existing repertoire fused with theater, dance and multimedia.
Ah! But The Big Dream is to work toward completely original, company-created new opera-theater works. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with Selkie, a sea tale. The piece is a dreamy love story inspired by Selkie mythology: the half-human, half-seal beings that shed their skins and become human for a time. I wrote the libretto (fancy-schmancy Italian word for lyrics) and Elliot Cooper Cole composed the music: haunting, sensual, sometimes tumultuous, sometimes plaintively aching. It is scored for two female singers, cello and piano, with two actors, and dancer Meg Brooker, visiting us from Austin. Our media and lighting artist is Megan M. Reilly, also from Austin, and Houston photographer and fine artist, David A. Brown is creating an installation as theatrical design.
What I’m saying is: my friends and I do really cool stuff and we love to share our work, so come out and a meet us.
Selkie, a sea tale performances are also part of Opera America’s National Opera Week events. Opera for everyone! Woot!
Divergence Vocal Theater presents Selkie, a sea tale
Seduction to dive below the waves… Have you ever wanted something so much that you’d pursue it without a thought to saying goodbye to your current life? We have. Join us in an other-worldly environment for a fairytale evening of achingly beautiful, multidisciplinary, new opera-theater.
Elliot Cooper Cole, composer. Misha Penton, libretto. Misha Penton, Natasha Manley, singers. Meg Brooker, dancer & choreography. Miranda Herbert & Melissa McEver, actors. Jeremy Wood, piano. Olive Chen, cello. Sarah Mosher & Serret Jensen, costumes & stylist. Megan M. Reilly & David A. Brown, lighting, media & design. Amy Guerin, theatrical consult. Misha Penton, Artistic Director.
Friday November 5 at 8pm
Saturday November 6 at 8pm, Saturday night after-party with Two Star Symphony!
Obsidian Arts Space, 3522 White Oak Drive. Houston, TX 77007. In the Houston Heights.
I’ve decided to do away with all pomp and hassle, so all performances are Pay What You Wish. Seating is limited, so please make reservations online or pay cash or check at the door. Pay What You Wish. Reservations Recommended. Limited Seating. Contact, Info & Reservations: www.divergencevocaltheater.org