posted by Nick DePinna, composer
On behalf of Hitomi Oba, Jerome Parker, and other yet-to-be named collaborators, I am excited to announce a staging of the first act (and portions of subsequent acts) of our Jazz Opera, Strange Fellowe, taking place on October 26th and 27th, 2012 at the Fais Do-Do in Los Angeles!
Strange Fellowe‘s development began in 2008, when Hitomi and I, both graduate students in the UCLA Department of Music, approached Jerome Parker, a graduate student in the UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television MFA Playwright Program, with a vague idea for a musical. Jerome took the premise that Hitomi and I had in mind and took off, to our extreme delight and amazement, in a completely new direction than what we had originally imagined. Over the course of three to four years, the characters came into being, the story developed, and the instrumentation, mood, setting, and style evolved.
At its heart, Strange Fellowe is a simple project…a piece of musical drama woven from the fabric of poet Walter de la Mare’s body of work. The piece, while not completely explicit about its actual setting (at least at this point in its development), takes place in a world not dissimilar to the period in which de la Mare lived, including the looming darkness of some pivotal historical events he bore witness to.
Today, Monday July 30th, we signed paperwork and put down a deposit for the October production. This was our first official step towards bringing this project into reality! Hitomi and I visited the venue not only to take care of these logistics, but also to take some photos to send to the rest of the creative team.
The Fais Do-Do is a brilliant space. With a 200+ audience capacity, a large stage, and cavernous atmosphere, the creative options are staggering. The decor is simple, with aging wooden rafters atop moody and bold red brick walls