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Press Releases

World Premiere Virtual Livestream on October 31 of Jonathan Beard’s Opera Cesare, Child of Night, Presented by OPERA UCLA

October 25, 2021

OPERA UCLA will present the virtual livestream World Premiere of Cesare, Child of Night from composer and film/TV orchestrator Jonathan Beard (Respect, King Richard, Zack Snyder's Justice Leagueand The Mandalorian) on Sunday, October 31 at 11:00 PM EDT (8:00 PM PDT), presented by UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music.

With a libretto by Michael Cramer (City College of New York), and directed by Emmy-nominated editor and director Stewart Schill (American Crime Story), Cesare, Child of Night is a one-act electroacoustic opera based on the 1920 German silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligariacclaimed by film critic Roger Ebert as "the first true horror film" and by film reviewer Danny Peary as "cinema's first cult film and a precursor for arthouse films." 

Cesare is infused with a number of broad musical interests pulled into one whole, including early 20th century modernist and cabaret elements, contemporary sound design, cinematic DNA, asymmetric electronic grooves, and adventurous orchestration, all percolating within the long and rich operatic tradition. The opera contains subtle "signifiers" from music of that era combined with contemporary operatic techniques and sound design, bringing electronic instruments into the mix with the acoustic ensemble.

Director Schill has drawn on footage from the original Cabinet of Dr. Caligari silent film, re-edited to accompany the revised narrative, while creatively intercutting with a series of fifteen original paintings by artist Sufia Sadaf that depict each of the opera's tableaus.

Performers will include distinguished OPERA UCLA alumni Joanna Lynn-Jacobs and Thomas Segen, along with several UCLA professors including Michael Dean, Antonio Lysy, Movses Pogossian and Mike Shapiro.

The virtual event will be free and open to the public, at https://schoolofmusic.ucla.edu/event/cesare-child-of-night-a-horror-opera-based-on-the-cabinet-of-dr-caligari, and includes a panel moderated by Peter Kazaras, Director of OPERA UCLA.

Jonathan Beard, UCLA Lecturer in Electronic Music Composition, creates music for media and the concert stage. As a composer, recent diverse projects include Ritual, a five-piece electroacoustic suite for chamber ensemble and electronics, on 4Tay Records, the film scores to What Still Remains, Heavenquest, and Frank vs. God; and De tu puño y letra, an electronic video-sound collaboration with iconic artist Suzanne Lacy. He has served on the composing teams for video games such as Star Wars Battlefront I and II, and guest-composed for ABC's Once Upon A Time. For the stage, Jonathan co-composed the oratorio The Passion of Anne Frank for the Los Angeles Master Chorale as part of their Voices Within residency, and his original theatre-score for Driving Miss Daisy received an NAACP Theatre Award nomination. Visit him at https://www.jonathanbeard.com/.                                  

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