Old meets new: Modularias & podcast operas Clockwise from left: Joan La Barbara dancing in tape (photo: Hank O'Neal), Andrew Raffo Dewar (photo: Andrew Raffo Dewar), Jason Cady (photo: Reuben Radding), and Kamala Sankaram (photo: Dario Acosta).

Old meets new: Modularias & podcast operas

Jenna Simeonov

November is a good month for the adventurous opera fan.

New York-based Experiments in Opera presents Modularias, a collection of four world premiere operas composed for modular synths. On the line-up are stories of repatriation, time travel, death, and Halloween costumes: Jason Cady’s Candy Corn, Joan La Barbara’s Virginia and the Time Machine, Kamala Sankaram’s The Wife, and Andrew Raffo Dewar’s Volver.

A modular synth opera is about a hipster as you can get: “Modular synthesizers have been around since the early 1960s but they fell out of favor in the 1980s,” say Cady and EiO founders Matthew Welch and Aaron Siegel. “In the last 10 years, there has been a resurgence of interest in modular synthesizers as they have gotten cheaper, smaller and generally more accessible for enthusiasts and musicians.”

Modularias goes up on November 2 at 7pm and November 3 at 3pm and 7pm at The Flea Theater, 20 Thomas St. For details and tickets, click here.

Also in November, Experiments in Opera is releasing the first-ever serial podcast opera, Jason Cady’s Buick City, 1:00 AM. It’s an operatic murder-mystery story set in 1980s Flint, Michigan; each of the four 25-minute episodes include original music, dialogue, and sound design by Martin Johnson.

“Media consumers, always ahead of the concert audience, have been engaging with fiction podcasts like ‘The Truth’ and ‘Homecoming’ for the last couple of years,” say Cady, Welch, and Siegel. “It was just a matter of time before composers jumped into the game.”

Buick City, 1:00 AM comes out weekly, starting Tuesday, November 6. Each episode is available for download via iTunes, Stitcher, or via EiO’s website.

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