For its second annual LB Opera & Film Festival, LBO presents two full days of events that explore the intersection of film and opera with new live stagings and a robust and unexpected slate of filmic programming centered around historical art song and poetry. Anchoring the expanded festival is a new production and staging of Schubert’s 1823 song cycle Die Schöne Müllerin paired with the 2022 short film Christopher at Sea, which recently premiered at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival. Both are conceived by acclaimed British director, animator, and film festival darling Tom C. J. Brown. The new staging of the song cycle will be performed live in a new production co-directed by Brown and Raviv Ullman. In order to make Christopher at Sea, Brown lived in his film’s setting: on a large cargo vessel at sea and used historic recordings of Schubert’s song cycle as constant inspiration for the queer-focused intimate story, the score and the mood of his animated short. The LB Opera & Film Festival will present an original staged new production of the Schubert cycle followed by a screening of the film, uniquely linking these two works of art in two different mediums crafted 200 years apart.
The festival will also feature the world premiere of THE RECITAL, a new film inspired by Luciano Berio’s wild 1972 work Recital I (for Cathy) with an original screenplay and new score crafted using pieces from the wide-ranging career of powerhouse singer Measha Brueggergosman-Lee. Written and directed by James Darrah, who the Wall Street Journal praised for his operatic film work that is “experimenting and forging a new art form” and premiering a new score composed by Christopher Rountree, THE RECITAL continues Darrah’s commitment to the exploration of operatic cinema at LBO and brings the singular talents of Brueggergosman-Lee to Long Beach in a unique filmic medium.
Additional programming for the full festival will be announced at a later date.