Help Fund Jessie Downs's New Opera, The Second Sight

Help Fund Jessie Downs's New Opera, The Second Sight

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Help Fund Jessie Downs's New Opera, "The Second Sight"!

Overview: Sotto Voce's 2019-2020 project is staging the first working performance of Jessie Downs's new opera, "The Second Sight." The unveiling of the work's full 3 acts - for a cast of 8 singers with 10-piece sinfonietta - is scheduled for May 22nd of 2020 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo. Your generous donations will help us realize this ambitious large-scale work!

About the Opera: The original libretto of "The Second Sight" explores the spiritual connections between generations of women as developed through the experience of grief. The music conjures mystical spaces and psychological dramas, utilizing a sound palette that is inspired by a combination of bel canto, folk, and experimental musics. The 3 lead characters depict different life stages and shades of feminine energy. The Spirit Sextet - portrayed by Sotto Voce - evoke the haunted and sublime forces that impact these women's lives, and the sinfonietta evokes different moods and spaces.

About Our Budget: This project has already acquired a budget of $10,000 from grants and private donors that will go towards paying performers for a minimum amount of rehearsal time and a single performance. The next $2,000 raised will go towards the acquisition of minimalistic staging materials and the production of professional video and audio recordings. If the project raises more than $12,000, additional funds will contribute to the extension of the project's scale - allowing for more rehearsal time, the possibility of other performances, hiring understudies, adding lighting effects, making subtitles available, and delegating production tasks.

Featured Video: Watch the above preview of Act I Scene 2, "The Rain Scene" from Sotto Voce's 2019 June in Buffalo performance. In this scene, the Spirit Sextet brings on a rain storm, and leads a clairvoyant young woman to the house of the mother and child she has seen in a tragic vision.

About Our Organization: Sotto Voce Vocal Collective is a performing vocal ensemble based in Buffalo, NY that aims to promote awareness of both the capabilities of the human voice and the diversity of composers living today. The group performs works primarily by under-represented living composers, with at least 50% of each program featuring works by womxn, and at least 25% featuring works by POC. Programs are structured in unique formats – such as interactive opera or poetic mono-drama — so as to better engage audiences in the exploration of adventurous sound worlds.