Reviewed by Eric Miles Glover
I recently attended a workshop of MOSHEH: A VideOpera, one of 16 projects in development at the HERE Arts Center in SoHo, on display for Culturemart 2008. The opera, created and composed by Yoav Gal, employs the grammars of performance and technology to reenact the story of Moses from the bible. If the quality of the excerpts reflects the quality of the larger opera, I highly recommend that readers see the full-length production as soon as it opens.
I was really impressed with the musical score. The excerpts featured compositions for piano, voice, flute, clarinet, and saxophone that complemented the dramaturgy of the opera, and piqued and sustained my interest. For example, the excerpts possessed distinguishable melodies that guided me through the non-English language opera and served as through lines for the principal characters. Moreover, the seamless combination of pedestrian movement, video projection, and virtuoso singing (especially for "Tinok") was unforgettable.
The cast of singers--Judith Barnes, Hai-Ting Chinn, Heather Green, Julia Arazi, Cara Maltz, Deborah Radloff, and Faith Wu--deserves commendation for the expert expressiveness of the vocals. Moreover, Kristin Marting's direction, in combination with Yoav Gal's video design, Gal and Heather Green's costume design, and Juliet Chia's lighting design, furnished the opera with a surreal atmosphere that blurred the boundaries between space and time, and provided a temporary respite from normal life. At the same time, the hybridity of MOSHEH (the opera employed elements from dance, multimedia, music, and theater) facilitated a humanistic exploration of spirituality.
I am eager to experience the full-length opera.