The storyline and script is by Andreas Mitisek and CULTURE CLASH, the musical adaptation by Andreas Mitisek.
Meanwhile, Long Beach Opera, as ever priding itself with radically rethinking repertory, has done a full refashioning of the first great “King Arthur” opera (there aren’t many, but Chausson’s “Le Roi Arthus” is a neglected beauty). Arthur here becomes the comic book delusional fantasy of a pudgy, narcissistic, emigrant-phobic politico requiring psychiatric treatment.
In this reimagination King Arthur returns as a superhero who fights a mysterious, supernatural force that is attacking Earth and threatening life as we know it. Will he be able to save humanity? How will he stand up against a race of alien shape shifters who desire to conquer the galaxy? King Arthur's experience as a knight comes in handy as he rescues his beloved princess.
Mitisek then takes apart the opera, adapting Purcell’s music to fit new circumstances and a completely new theatrical structure. His cutup rearranges, revises, reorders and reduces Purcell’s score. The occasional Dryden line is retained, but much of the sung text is new. Five acts become a single uninterrupted one under two hours.
For his part, Mitisek leads a musically excellent performance and, in yet another of his hats, contributes effectively goofy video imagery.
Director/Designer Mitisek has an intriguing concept for the production, teasing in the promo that it will present the royal as a comic book action hero. And that he does, but he accomplishes so much more in this fantastical staging.
...As Video and Set Designer, Andreas made all the right choices. For the set, he was content to utilize the simplest of set pieces and furniture to suggest the shape shifting reality and fantasy milieus. The scrim wall separating the upstage orchestra from the action was a perfect screen on which to project Lichtenstein-like comic book figures that engaged the eye and furthered the visual presentation.
...Under Maestro Mitisek’s assured baton, the excellent ten-piece Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra was first among equals in the project’s success**.**
Beverly O'Neill Theater
NURSE GWEN E. VEER - Soprano: Jamie Chamberlin
LANCE - Counter - tenor: Darryl Taylor
ARTHUR - Tenor: Marc Molomot
DOC OSWALD - Bass: Cedric Berry
Lighting Design: Dan Weingarten
Director/Conductor/Video Design/Production Design: Andreas Mitisek