It has been a while since weve seen a genuine rock opera Tommy comes to mind but the unique genre will be revived Wednesday night on the stage of the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.
The renowned Parsons Dance, in collaboration with Grammy-nominated vocalists from the rock group East Village Opera Company, will give a modern retelling of a classic tragic love triangle in the multimedia stage production Remember Me.
Remember Me merges the dramatic and timeless art forms of opera and dance but re-imagines classic opera arias as popular songs. Integrating the backbeat of a rock band and the gritty edginess of the streets of New York with operatic vocals and Parsons innovative choreography, the show is, indeed, reminiscent of the golden age rock operas like Jesus Christ Superstar or even Tommy, as well as some of the newer and darker Broadway musicals, Rent, Evita and Phantom of the Opera.
The Parsons Dance company was formed in 1985, and its repertory includes more than 70 works choreographed by founder and modern-dance guru David Parsons. Many of Parsons works include commissioned original scores by popular musicians and composers including Milton Nascimento, Michael Gordon and Dave Matthews. The companys style has been described as a fusion of the gesture and movement that make up the modern-dance vocabulary, and the discipline and precise execution of a classical company. It incorporates digital effects fused with more traditional but sensual dance moves by professional show people. All in all, an impressive effect.
East Village Opera Company was formed in 2004 in New Yorks East Village by Canadians Peter Kiesewalter and Tyley Ross. More akin to a rock band than a traditional opera company, EVOC rearranged classics by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Shubert and more, infusing the electric sounds of pop, R&B, classic rock and soul. EVOC as a band is currently dissolved, but Ross remains the male lead of Remember Me opposite female vocalist AnnMarie Milazzo.
Both Parsons Dance and EVOC have embraced a mission to make their respective disciplines accessible to the widest possible audience, most notably younger generations.