‘Girondines’ premieres in SCV  

Filler art of The Signal.

Mission Opera, founded by artistic director Josh Wentz in 2019, is welcoming all opera lovers for the West Coast premiere of “Girondines,” the production of librettist Kirsten C. Kunkle and composer Sarah Van Sciver, an alumna of California Institute of the Arts.  

Taking place at the Canyon High School Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 29, at 3 and 7:30 p.m., the second-ever premiere — the first being a concert showcased in Delaware — will steer away from the traditional elements of a typical opera production. 

“Canyon High School has a 60-foot LED screen that they bring down, and halfway back of the stage you have this huge TV monitor. We can project video designs, digital backgrounds, scenic designs and multimedia elements from the TV,” Wentz said. “The characters will interact with the LED screen as part of the plot — part of the action and the storytelling.” 

The title of the opera reflects the political group during the French Revolution, and is a primarily woman-based production. 

“[Kunkle and Van Sciver] worked on this together, so it’s actually an all-female show. It’s very much a female empowerment show because the opera is about six women of the French Revolution whose stories are untold,” Wentz said. “The six women that are in the show are all professional singers, some from out of town — some from the East Coast, the L.A. area and a couple from Northern California.” 

While the show is based on the tragedies and triumphs of French women, the screen will also allow attendees to engage with their language of choice for the full experience.  

“‘Girondines’ is a French name, so even though it’s in English, people can read the words above the stage. The text is projected on the TV, and it’s in three languages: they’re singing in English, but it’s also translated into Spanish and French,” Wentz said.  

Overall, Wentz said he is looking forward to the turnout of the new, revolutionary production. 

“There’s a lot of buzz about this opera because it’s new work — it’s really a 21st-Century opera,” Wentz said. “The cool thing about it being written by women is that women have been underrepresented in the classical music world, so it’s a really important step in ensuring that untold voices are being heard.” 

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