Award Winning Opera "Please Look" Can Be Streamed until February 5

Author: SMND

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SMND's Margaret Foster (MSM, 2022) seen here

A cheer went up this past fall in the Sacred Music graduate student workroom, “we won!”
Please Look: A Cinematic Opera Experience, creative producer Professor Kiera Duffy of SMND and the Department of Music, won the inaugural Award for Digital Excellence in its category (University/Conservatory Project). The opera will stream for free until February 5, 2023, so now is the chance to see and hear a number of SMND graduates in action, joining their undergraduate colleagues from the Department of Music, and aided by many other students, staff and faculty who worked on the production (see the credits). SMND singers include Lauren Lundy (MSM, 2022); Margaret Foster (MSM, 2022); Emorja Roberson (DMA, 2022); Howard Eckdahl (DMA, 2022); Jeron Burney (MSM, 2022); Sounak Raj Das (MSM, 2022); Mary Catherine Bucko (MSM, 2022); Thomas Valle-Hoag (MSM, 2021); and Christina Beasley (MSM, 2022). 

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Professor Kiera Duffy enthusiastically displays the award

Kiera Duffy says of Please Look: “With no prescribed narrative, the project explores the ways in which dramatic, visual, and (especially) musical inertia challenge contemporary sensibilities and questions whether abstraction clarifies truth.” Professor Peter Jeffery is the executive producer of the work, and Professor Dan Stowe is director of music. Evan Chapman and Kevin Eikenberg are the creative directors, directors of photography, and video editors. Composers whose music is featured in this cinematic opera experience are Meredith Monk, David Lang, Philip Glass, John Adams, Michael Gordon, and Julius Eastman. 

The award is presented by Opera America to “recognize artistic and educational achievements in the medium of digital opera”, and the awards ceremony led by Marc Skorka is an inspiring testimony to joining the forces of digital media with those of more traditional operatic production. The hope is “to encourage ongoing investment in the development in digital opera projects as vehicles for expanding the reach of opera to new audiences.” The 2022 winners were selected from over 100 submissions and 14 finalists.