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First-ever Zoom opera scheduled for pandemic premiere

Kamala Sankaram

BY GRANT LANCASTER

A renowned opera composer has adapted the centuries-old method of musical storytelling to the uncertain times of the present by writing the first-ever opera to be performed entirely on video conferencing app Zoom.

The experimental opera, created by composer Kamala Sankaram, is called “all decisions will be made by consensus,” and will be performed live on Zoom at 1 p.m. April 24, 7 p.m. April 25 and 3 p.m. April 26.

Viewers can tune in to the live Zoom or watch on the Facebook page of HERE Arts Center, who participated in the project.

The opera is about a Zoom meeting of activists with conflicting problem-solving styles and includes Metropolitan Opera and Broadway star Zachary James and a guest appearance by Joel Marsh Garland, known for his work on “Orange is the New Black” and “The Last OG.”

The absurdist comedy opera is an answer to the question, “What would happen if you created a piece specifically intended to be performed live over a conferencing platform like Zoom?” Sankaram said.

Sankaram hopes that the production will inspire others to turn their creativity toward answering the same question and produce completely new styles of art that are reflective of the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the lives of Americans.

Zachary James

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