Composer Michael Roth, whose work has been called “music one could imagine Ives composing had he encountered beat poetry and rock and roll,” has assembled a team of progressive artists, performers, and musicians to create something completely new: THE WEB OPERA. Roth’s provocative self-produced groundbreaking experiment in opera, film and music, created to be presented online, tells of a group of college freshmen and the invasion of privacy that forever changes someone’s life. Based on true events, filmed as if seen via laptop, iPhone, or iPad, this story about the privacy violation compels the viewer to violate the privacy of the characters themselves. An official selection at fifteen film festivals, acclaimed with a Humanitarian Award, THE WEB OPERA most importantly supports via its website suicide prevention and the fight against cyber-abuse.
“A great 21st Century Opera, an important story told very very well.’— Randy Newman
“Roth and his collaborators have created a unique, remarkable, and moving work that wrestles with the toxic dangers posed by the confluence of bullying and internet technology. In THE WEB OPERA, the audience views the action through the perspective of a webcam or laptop or iPhone. Throughout, we’re reminded how much humans have become dependent upon and addicted to this technology, the close-up, claustrophobic shots exacerbating this hard truth. Roth’s score is an ingenious synthesis of styles and genres, classical and popular, featuring both computer and traditional instruments. For certain, the influences of both stage and popular music may be heard, emerging in a style all Roth’s own, never sounding derivative. I particularly admire the way Roth delineates the three central characters – all referred to by screen names: the roommate (FG97), his friend (June99), and particularly Violinist98, touchingly sung and acted by Adam von Almen, who emerges as a sympathetic, three-dimensional character. Violinist 98’s beautiful Episode 2 aria could easily hold its own on the concert recital stage. The other two principal vocalist/actors, Reuben Uy and Stephanie Cecile Yavelow, are absolutely convincing in every way. All the singers employ a popular (rather than operatic) method of voice production, entirely appropriate for the drama and Roth’s music. I found THE WEB OPERA to be a compelling, fulfilling musical experience, a thought-provoking work meriting attention.” (Ken Meltzer, Fanfare Magazine)
THE WEB OPERA is presented online to encourage via our website supporting suicide prevention organizations working against cyber-abuse. Three episodes are online now, episodes four and five will be completed within the year. To view all three episodes, to support filming episodes four and five, and for information regarding THE WEB OPERA’s mission, please visit www.thewebopera.com
Michael Roth has composed chamber music, film and dance scores, and especially music and sound for theatre: over 250 productions (Broadway, off-Broadway, Canada’s Stratford Festival), collaborating with Tom Hanks, Randy Newman, Christopher Plummer, Peter Sellars, Stacy Keach and many others – including his authorized music/theatre treatment of SAMUEL BECKETT’S “IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE” for string quartet, recorded voices, and laptop, performed in LA, San Diego, and a Beckett Festival in Prague.