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'Crescent City' is a unique love letter to New Orleans

May 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A lone voice slices through the darkness the powerful a cappella performance is something you might expect in an opera. But make no mistake, this is no ordinary opera.

"This is definitely an experiment in both creating an opera in an unusual way, but also for the audience to experience opera in a totally different way," said Yuvall Sharon.

Sharon is the director and co-creator of "Crescent City," which opens its three week run this weekend.

"A lot of it is really based on traditions of opera, but with a very contemporary and 21st century feel," said Sharon.

"Crescent City" is a love letter to New Orleans with a narrative that alludes to the destructive force of Hurricane Katrina.

Anne LeBaron spent six years composing the music. "The score is I would say sprawling because it encompasses a lot of different styles, electronic being one," she said.

The seats are arranged in a perimeter around the stage and audience members are also able to walk along the edge of the performance area.

"And that's what I feel here, that sail on-type of thing where I'm entertaining everyone around me," said singer Gwendolyn Brown.

The enormous sets built for "Crescent City" are works of art in and of themselves, built by six of L.A.'s leading visual artists.

"They've all created something that feels, in a way, an independent project, but that nevertheless fits into the whole," said Sharon.

"Crescent City" runs through May 27 at the Atwater Crossing Arts Complex. Tickets start at $25.

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