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APOLAKI: OPERA OF THE SCORCHED EARTH
May 3 @ 8:00 am
APOLAKI: OPERA OF THE SCORCHED EARTH
By Micaela Tobin with Jay Carlon
June 2023, dates TBD
More information coming soon
APOLAKI: OPERA OF THE SCORCHED EARTH is a new experimental opera by Micaela Tobin in collaboration with Jay Carlon. Continuing her exploration and celebration of pre-colonial mythologies from the Philippines, her motherland, Tobin’s new work will put a spotlight on APOLAKI, the God of Sun and War, who finds himself lost in a foreign and unfamiliar land (present day Tongva Land/Los Angeles) after being displaced by Spanish colonizers from the Philippines. This opera will explore larger issues around settler colonialism, migration, diaspora, decolonization, and climate change.
This piece is the sequel to Tobin’s recent opera-film, “BAKUNAWA: Opera of the Seven Moons” which premiered at REDCAT in May 2021. Whereas BAKUNAWA was about building a sonic bridge back to the Philippines, APOLAKI will focus on how Filipinxs navigate the current diaspora. “In APOLAKI, we will grapple with these underlying issues of settler colonialism and how our interlocking histories of being a colonized people play out in the present-day.” – Micaela Tobin
APOLAKI: OPERA OF THE SCORCHED EARTH will be a site-specific, modular opera that will involve movement, electroacoustic instrumentation, and community voice-choruses performed in different outside spaces around Los Angeles County, in direct relationship to the land that we occupy.
Through additional support from the MAP Fund, APOLAKI will premiere in Summer of 2023.
Satellite programming around APOLAKI: OPERA OF THE SCORCHED EARTH
November 30, 2022 | “Sounding the Ancestral Voice in Experimental Opera with Micaela Tobin” at the Philosophical Research Society
December 10, 2022 | “They Can’t Erase Me”, performance at First Church Congregation of Los Angeles presented by the Resonance Collective
More coming soon..
Micaela Tobin is a soprano, sound artist, and teacher based in Los Angeles, CA who specializes in experimental voice and contemporary opera.
As a sound artist with a background in opera, Micaela integrates voice and electronics within the genres of noise and drone music. Her work incorporates ritualized gesture and amplified object-symbolism and explores her diasporic identity as a first-generation Filipina-American. Micaela’s vocal practice is based in building connections between the physical voice as a means of empowering one’s ‘inner’ voice and challenging colonial stories and systems.
Composing primarily under the moniker “White Boy Scream,” Micaela dissects her operatic and extended vocal techniques through the use of electronics, oscillating between extreme textures of noise, drone, and operatic sound walls. Her most recent full length album, “BAKUNAWA” (Deathbomb Arc) includes elements of sonic ritual, ancient myth, and ancestral memory. Of the album, Steve Smith of The New Yorker Magazine asserts that “opera would do well to pay attention.” The album was ranked #9 Release of 2020 in The Wire Magazine. In May 2021, Micaela premiered the cinematic adaptation of the album through REDCAT, titled “BAKUNAWA: Opera of the Seven Moons.”
As an opera composer, Micaela premiered and earned a five-star review for her first original experimental opera, entitled “Unseal Unseam,” at the world’s largest art festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in summer 2016; the work was described as “hypnotic” and “paralyzingly beautiful,” by New Classic LA after its U.S. debut in October 2017. Her most recent opera, “Belarion: A Space Opera” which premiered at the American Legion Center in Pasadena, CA in February 2019, is about the magickal practices of JPL founder Jack Parsons.
As a performer, Micaela played the principal role of Coyote in the critically acclaimed opera, SWEET LAND (dir. Yuval Sharon & Canuppa Luger; Comp. Raven Chacon & Du Yun). She also performed with The Industry in their groundbreaking opera, “Hopscotch, a mobile opera for 24 cars (dir. Yuval Sharon).” She has also toured with hip-hop experimentalists clipping. on their 2017 tour with The Flaming Lips. Micaela also appeared as a principal vocalist in the premiere of Ron Athey and Sean Griffith’s automatic opera, “Gifts the Spirit”; and as a soprano soloist alongside Annette Bening in the play “Medea” at UCLALive.
Micaela is currently a voice teacher on faculty at the California Institute for the Arts and teaches through her private studio, HOWL SPACE, in Los Angeles, CA.
Jay Carlon was born and raised on California’s Central Coast, Carlon’s work is inspired by growing up the youngest of 12 in a Filipino, Catholic, and agricultural migrant-working family. He is committed to connecting his art practice to sustainability and his personal and collective journey of decolonization.
Jay’s work has been presented in Los Angeles at REDCAT NOW Festival, The Broad Museum, Los Angeles Dance Project, Annenberg Community Beach House, LA Dance Festival, Electric Lodge, Los Angeles Performance Practice D+R Residencies, homeLA, and Beach Dances; in New York at 92ndY and The CURRENT SESSIONS; in Phoenix at Breaking Ground Festival; in Monterrey, Mexico at Espacio Expectante; and in Bangkok, Thailand at Creative Migration. Jay is a performer and directing associate with aerial spectacle theatre company Australia’s Sway Pole, where he has performed at the 2014 Olympics, the 2016 World EXPO, and the 2018 Super Bowl.
Carlon has also performed with the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center, Palissimo, Oguri, No)one. Art House, and danced for Rodrigo y Gabriela on Jimmy Kimmel Live (choreographed by Annie-B Parson), in Solange Knowles’ art film Metronia (2018) choreographed by Gerard & Kelly, and was appointed Choreographic Associate for Kanye West’s opera, Mary (2019).