Vicious, Online Psychic
In 2010, the Oslo Opera festival invited me to have a scene from my first opera,Vicious, workshopped. As a dark comedy, Vicious focuses on the effects of Anti Social Personality Disorder on a Karaoke singer:
Sliding down a hilarious whirlpool of exploitation, jealousy, and ambition, a small town singer is forced by her mother to become a pop sensation by winning a Karaoke competition. What was supposed to be a regional talent search explodes into a mortal exchange of poison, EpiPens®, and hair care products. This modern-day morality play takes the audience on a steep decline to the abyss, but laughing all the way.
Scene 1 – an apartment in some present-day small American town, in the morning
The opera begins with a short musical introduction. Strobe lights are flashing as the tempo picks up to a club beat. Musical themes and lighting effects are heard and seen that will return later at the Karaoke competition, Scene 2. This beginning captures the frenzied experiences Molly has almost every night as a club rat and open-mic lizard lounge.
Voicemail with a Hangover
Molly hungover in a bathtub receives unwanted voicemail and a still more unwelcome call from her mother.
Molly hurries to work online as animal Psychic: Secretionis, the revealer of animal secrets. She is rudely confronted by her nemesis, Spooner and Shute.
Her doting duet partner for the competition, Chad, leaves in a tiff as Molly does not take the rehearsal seriously.
Molly is stunned and offended that Chad rejects her, Spooner and Shute insulted her and that her Mother threatened to cut her off financially.
End of Scene One
Scene 2 – in a Karaoke Bar, later that evening
Molly and Chad compete against Spooner and Shute in a Karaoke competition with the audience choosing who will advance to the next round.
A Vicious Circle
Molly sets in motion a vicious circle: Samantha is poisoned by Molly, Shute is stabbed by Chad with an EpiPen, and Chad suffocates on hairspray provided by Molly.
Molly is alone once again and assess the carnage, but instead of repenting of or regretting her decisions, she steals from the recently deceased and exits.
A Moral or amoral?
The cast reflects on the actions of Molly and if there is a place in society for her type.
END OF OPERA
Vicious is not only a contemporary in its structure, but also in its realization; current forms of multimedia (video projection, spatialized sound sources, and lighting effects), popular music, and audience participation are utilized to amplify the drama. Chamber by design, yet symphonic in scope, this opera is meant to accommodate the restraints and expectations of both collegiate productions as well as regional opera houses. Vicious is in its final editorial phase and further workshops in Norway are anticipated.