June 4-14, 2015
the Surrender of Self in Mystical Contemplation
In the News:
The Miami Herald, "Review: SoBe Arts’ ‘Intelligent Systems’ is a smashing success" June 2015
South Florida Classical Review, "Kievman’s ambitious “Intelligent Systems” offers invention, theatrical spectacle" June 2015
South Florida Classical Review, "Composer Kievman to go cosmic with long-gestating, interstellar opera" June 2015
Knight Foundation, "SoBe Arts' 'Intelligent Systems' gives opera a multimedia big bang" June 2015
ARTBURST, "Carson Kievman's out of this world chamber opera" June 2015
Miami New Times, "Intelligent Systems: An Opera For the Modern World" June 2015
Miami Art Zine, "All Systems Go For Kievman Opera" June 2015
In June 2015, SoBe Arts presented the world premiere of Intelligent Systems, a provocative 90 minute multimedia opera exploring epic conflicts at the intersections of the natural universe, technology and humanity.
Through a wonderful integration of sonic and visual images, audience members were taken through time and space on a quest to understand — and actually feel as though they are experiencing — creation, natural catastrophe, social evolution, and the modern threat of self-annihilation.
Composer Carson Kievman was originally inspired to begin work on this project more than 30 years ago when Stephen Hawking published his groundbreaking research on the Big Bang theory and the transformative nature of the universe. In 1980, Dr. Kievman received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and, in 1982, a commission from Germany’s Donaueschingen Festival to begin developing the work. The musical score and storyboard/libretto were created periodically through the ensuing years and finally revised, updated and completed early this year.
Intelligent Systems maps out the history of a parallel universe and one of its planets as a series of natural catastrophes occurring over billions of years, leading to the development of civilization and ultimately a man-made catastrophe (including climate change and sea-level rise; raging viral pandemic; out-of-control digital miscommunications; and global nuclear fallout) followed by a post-apocalyptic speculation about what a future species might look and act like.
These are big ideas, and they translate well into a music-theater experience using animated projections, vocal, and instrumental ensembles. The evening was made more engaging through the use of unique costuming, and unusual stage and lighting effects. Intelligent Systems is a one-of-a-kind theatrical event that reaches a degree of communication beyond the normal opera/music-theater experience
For this new production, SoBe Arts engaged the production team from last season's triumph: Fairy Tales, Songs of the Dandelion Woman, a chamber opera by Carson Kievman that received rave reviews * and considerable local and national attention.
Intelligent Systems ran for seven performances from June 4 (open dress rehearsal) and June 5 (world premiere) through June 14 in the Little Stage Theater at SoBe Institute of the Arts, a beautiful, historic setting and intimate venue on Miami Beach.
Music and libretto by Carson Kievman
Danielle Buonaiuto, soprano as Dr. Helium White / Nathalie Avila, soprano as Mission Specialist Hydrogen Jade / Zaray Rodriguez, mezzo soprano as Professor Nitrogen Scarlet / Timothy Stoddard, tenor as Flight Engineer Oxygen Cobalt / David Robinson, baritone as Commander Plutonium Plum / Eric McConnell, bass-baritone as Science Officer Curium Black
Stage Director, Jeffrey Marc Buchman / Music Director, Mary Adelyn Kauffman / Projection Design, Alain Lores / Choreographer, Rosa Mercedes / Costume Design, Camila Haith / Lighting Design, Patrick Tennent / Properites Design, Michael Miles / Stage Manager, Jane Rosenbaum / Rehearsal Pianist, Elena Formicheva / Assistant Stage Manager, Robyn Meredith Davis / Sound Design, Carolina Perez / Sound Assistant, Jack Le Sante
ADDITIONAL PROJECTION TEAM
Digital Artist, Barbara Gutierrez / Digital Artist, Andrew Lopez / Digital Artist, Steven Guas / Executive Producer, Brian Bobinski
Conductor, Mary Adelyn Kauffman / Flute, Carol Naveira-Nicholson / Bb Clarinet, Carlos Ortega / Bb Clar./Bass Clarinet, Christine Pascual-Fernandez / French Horn, Matthew Marshall / Percussion, Karli Mason & Tyson Voigt / Keyboards, Elena Fomicheva, Masami Miyazaki / Violins, Anna Tsukervanik & Nora Maria Lastre / Violas, Felicia Besan & David RIker / Cellos, Hilary Glen & Anna Litvenko