In 2007, the beautiful and talented soprano Heidi Moss was stricken with Bell's palsy, resulting in permanent facial paralysis, a double tragedy for a very public performer. Heidi struggled but rose above her affliction, continued her successful opera career and became a spokesperson for facial paralysis.
What began as a tragedy became the dramatic theme for a new opera pastiche that Festival Opera is producing this season: About Face — an opera experience.
Act One, "Faces of Affliction," explores the psychological effects of affliction, acceptance and compassion with a multimedia experience that blends classic opera and creative screen projections to take the audience on a visual journey through an emotional landscape. The production incorporates classic opera arias from La Traviata and Rigoletto with a new work, Mister Merrick, based on the life of the so-called "Elephant Man."
Act Two features a performance of the contemporary chamber opera The Face on the Barroom Floor by Henry Mollicone. The composer will conduct and play the role of the Piano Player. This imaginative story tells two tales, separated by a century, of a femme fatale, and mysteriously links the characters of both tales with a surprising twist of fate.
About Face — an opera experience features soprano Heidi Moss along with former Adler Fellow baritone Eugene Brancoveanu and tenor Jorge Garza. Stage director and projections designer for About Face is Keith Nealy. Composer of Mr. Merrick and music director of Act One is Kurt Erickson.
Don't miss this unique, thought-provoking presentation.
About Face — an opera experience will have two performances at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm. An additional performance will be presented at the Oakland Technical High School Performing Arts Center on Friday, December 7 at 7:00 p.m.