Alice in the Pandemic: A Virtual Opera

A ticketed online opera will be streamed by the activist opera group White Snake Projects on Oct. 23-27. “The heroine of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books navigates an absurd alternate reality, and that idea spoke to the composer Jorge Sosa and the librettist Cerise Lim Jacobs during this chaotic year. Their virtual opera, Alice in the Pandemic, employs CGI to build a desolate, nonsensical cityscape, where a modern-day Alice searches for her sick mother. Designed with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine—the same software platform used to create Fortnite—the world of the opera resembles that of a first-person-shooter or roleplaying video game. The soloists sing to a prerecorded accompaniment of strings and electronics, and their voices and facial expressions come together in real time to animate their onscreen avatars during the live stream.”