Pandemic Opera (coined by Hippocrates Cheng, in 2020 September)

What is pandemic opera?
– A new format of opera emerged due to the pandemic since 2019

– A virtual opera presented on online media without geographical and temporal constraints
Concept
– A product of processes produced during the pandemic era and its extended period featuring post-pandemic-phobia

– Concepts, subjects, stories, performance styles, multimedia presentation related to the pandemic and its derivatives such as masks, hand sanitizers, and by-products such as COVID-19 symptoms, social distancing, and decrease in environmental pollution
– A multimedia “recording" capturing the historicity of pandemic

– A collaborative effect contributed by a large group of people such as composers, librettists, singers, musicians, performance artists, and multimedia artists from around the world via virtual collaboration

– Unlimited numbers of cast members and musicians possible to be featured

– Encourage collaboration featuring different types of singing and instruments around the world because the subject of pandemic becomes a global issue
– The opera will be archived in an online platform, and it could be reviewed at any time

– A self-commentary opera 2.0 could be created as a self-reflexive resonator of the original opera
New possibilities
– Focus on individual home recording for each singer and musician, seek new possibilities for using the ambiance sound and visual images from these recordings to experiment with a new soundscape and visual-scape.

– The faces of musicians and singers are displayed on the screen in a two-dimension format, featuring a possible new stage-pit arrangement of acting and seating

– The opera itself could be stretched into pieces or acts over any period of time to become either a one-piece opera or scattered scenes of opera, depending on how it is presented in an online platform

– Encourages creativity and experiment on multimedia art presentation

– Encourages interactive art such as involving the audience to comment in the comment section (such as YouTube function) during or after the pandemic opera’s performance. The artists in the production could also interact with the audience spontaneously without geographical limitation
Cost
– A relatively low-cost production different from a traditional opera with a high cost on theatre renting, scenery and costume production, and a large production crew

Hippocrates Cheng (b. 1994)

Hong Kong composer, overtone singer, pianist and multi-instrumentalist