Rock and opera mix at the Eccles
January 10, 2007
Taking the musical road less traveled, East Village Opera Company skillfully combines rock and opera creating what the Toronto Star calls, "one of the strangest, but hottest new acts in the business." This extraordinary group bursts onto the Eccles stage on Saturday, Jan. 13 with a show that gives opera an entirely new image.
Adding a string quartet and two vocalists to a powerhouse rock band, East Village Opera Company performs some of operas "greatest hits," including "La donna è mobile" from Rigoletto, "Nessun dorma" from Turandot and "Habanera" from Carmen. Though they spice up the arrangements such as adding an electric guitar solo in the midst of Puccini’s "Nessun dorma" the artists remain true to the original language and perform each piece in full-length.
"We have a profound love and respect for the opera," says Kiesewalter. "But it’s so dramatic, so over-the-top by today’s standards, that it cannot be delivered with a straight face. You need a little bit of irreverence in it." Co-founders Kiesewalter and Tyler Ross first dabbled in the rock-opera endeavor in 2001 and formed their 11-piece rock band, EVOC, in 2004. After a successful debut show, they then released a self-titled album and hit the touring circuit. Careful neither to demean nor satirize either genre, the group borrows from contemporary styles and performers while paying homage to the timeless works of Mozart, Verdi and Bizet.
Though classical music purists might blanch at the thought of their beloved Puccini mixed with The Who, this rare blend of genres has critics and even opera’s staunch supporters cheering. Entertainment Weekly proclaims, "This New York band deftly fuses rock and opera, delivering beloved arias ramped up with guitar and techno." Proving their appeal to opera’s aficionados, EVOC was invited to perform for 2,500 New York City Opera season subscribers at their opening night gala and asked to return for the same event the following year.
However, EVOC is a high-energy, intense experience. Kalamazoo Gazette writes, "EVOC’s opera is not for the timid or faint of heart. This is high-octane, high-decibel performance on a grand scale. Each song is a gut-wrenching journey of epic proportions."
East Village Opera Company performs on Saturday, Jan. 13 at The George S. and Dolores Doré at Eccles Center for the Performing Arts located at 1750 Kearns Blvd. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $18 – $65 (children 12 and under are half price and seniors receive a 20 percent discount). Tickets are $5 in the C- section for Summit County students (K-12). New this season: PCPAF has a second box office location at 625 Main Street. Tickets and information are available at The Eccles Center and Main Street box offices at 655-3114 or http://www.ParkCityTickets.com. Tickets and information are no longer available through ArtTix.