thingNY’s opera premieres this week at Knockdown Center!

Let me tell you, I had an extraordinary European tour this summer. With The World/Inferno Friendship Society, I played 23 cities in 24 days in Germany, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, England, and Scotland, and then I played four solo shows in Poland and Germany. You can get a taste of my adventures in these photos on Facebook. But this week, it’s THINGNY OPERA TIME!

Playing solo in June at Bushwick Open Studios in Brooklyn. Photo by Michael Yu.

Playing solo in June at Bushwick Open Studios in Brooklyn. Photo by Michael Yu.

After nearly three years of work it’s finally here: the premiere of This Takes Place Close By this Thursday through Sunday, September 24-27, in the gorgeous 50,000 feet of the Knockdown Center, the largest production thingNY has ever done! Following some initial planning, we started workshopping our newest experimental opera in a fall 2013 residency at Incubator Arts, performed a work-in-progress version in Canada at New Music Edmonton, and workshopped it more at a residency at Standard ToyKraft. Now, a team of stellar designers led by director Ashley Tata have joined us to make this a really special piece. Grab tickets now, here!

You can listen to some of the piece and meet the design team here:

So what is this opera?

Through stories, songs and scenes, our new work explores the reactions of isolated individuals in the wake of a devastating storm that affects them in drastically different ways. A woman crushed under a building, a bureaucrat from FEMA experiencing victimhood for the first time, a musician channeling his energy into a relief concert, and a shop owner insisting on rebuilding storm after storm…in short vignettes, the opera captures ordinary people thrown out of their “comfort zone,” while addressing issues such as the voyeurism of storms, the anxiety of privilege, and the emotional distance humans tend to keep between themselves and disasters.

I really hope you’ll come and tell your friends. And – stay tuned next month for solo performances I’m doing at the Brooklyn Experimental Song Carnival organized by Naked Roots Conducive (Valerie Kuehne and Natalia Steinbach), and at a show at _TORUS_PORTA organized by Joey Molinaro!

Snow leopard cubs,