Composer Dan Visconti (b. 1982) might be best known for being a pioneer in classical music entrepreneurship. He seems to be everywhere—from his acclaimed Ted Talks to insightful column in the Huffington Post to key artistic advisory/programming positions for Philadelphia’s classical music career incubator, Astral, and Chicago’s premiere chamber music group, Fifth House Ensemble.
But it's Visconti's two recent operas that have the attention of so many. ANDY: A Popera (2015) was the Andy Warhol-inspired new opera premiered at Opera Philadelphia—now on the forefront of commissioning new works. This September, Dan premieres a video game opera, PermaDeath, written by librettist Cerise Jacobs.
Jacobs is quickly establishing a body of original operatic work that blends two of her great passions, myth and technology, in compelling and relevant contemporary stories. PermaDeath, her most technologically sophisticated work to date, premieres at Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theater from September 27-29. The libretto was co-written with Jacobs’s son Pirate Epstein, founder of the video game company SqueePlay and a former New England Halo champion. The opera is directed by New York-based opera director Sam Helfrich, who helmed the first performances in New York of Péter Eötvös’s Angels in America at New York City Opera last year. Its conductor is Daniela Candillari, who has worked with Bang on a Can Opera and recently conducted Gregory Spears’s Fellow Travelers at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Jacobs’s longtime collaborators Cori Ellison and Zane Pihlstrom serve as dramaturg and set/costume designer, respectively. PermaDeath is produced by White Snake Projects.