With THE WEB OPERA, composer Michael Roth has assembled a team of progressive artists to create something completely new – an episodic through-sung web series based on true events, a groundbreaking and unique experiment in music, film, and new opera. THE WEB OPERA tells of a group of college freshmen and the invasion of privacy that forever changes a young man’s life. THE WEB OPERA also encourages and supports via its website suicide prevention and the fight against cyber abuse.
* – As of January, 2020, THE WEB OPERA has been honored as an official selection by 14 festivals: the LOS ANGELES EXPERIMENTAL DANCE & MUSIC FILM FESTIVAL (upcoming screening/February, 2020), New York’s IndieBOOM Festival (Winner, Best Music), INDIE SHORT FEST/LOS ANGELES, Australia’s INTERNATIONAL SHORTS FESTIVAL, LA’s INDEPENDENT SHORTS FESTIVAL, the WEB SERIES FESTIVAL GLOBAL, LOS ANGELES CINEFEST (semi-finalist, Best Web Series), ROME INDEPENDENT PRISMA AWARDS (semi-finalist, Best Web Series), and SHORT, TIGHT & LOOSE GLOBAL FILM FESTIVAL COMPETITION (Award of Excellence-Original Concept), in addition to Awards of Merit from the ONE REELER SHORT FILM COMPETITION and the BEST SHORTS COMPETITION, Honorable Mention from LA’s EXPERIMENTAL FORUM, and online presentations for both the LIFT OFF SESSIONS in the UK and New York’s LIFT-OFF GLOBAL NETWORK ONLINE FESTIVAL.
Featuring performances by Reuben Uy, Adam Von Almen, Stephanie Cecile Yavelow, Molly Connor, Joyce Lai and Loren Battley, directed by Kate Jopson, with texts by Kate Gale and additional texts by Michael Roth, filmed by DP Dana Fytelson with dazzling visual graphics by Lisa Glenn Armstrong, Yiyi Shao, and Christopher Gaal/Crazybridge Studios, and filmed as if seen via the cameras and webcams in a laptop, iPhone, or iPad, this story about the violation of privacy invites the viewer to violate the privacy of the characters themselves while viewing it.
Composer Randy Newman calls THE WEB OPERA ‘groundbreaking … a great 21st century opera, full of fine things and remarkably accessible. It is also an important story told very very well.’
And THE WEB OPERA has a mission – inspired by the real life tragedy of Tyler Clementi, THE WEB OPERA is presented online to encourage all who view it, via the website, to support organizations working for suicide prevention and against cyber abuse. The first three episodes are online now, episodes four and five will be complete within the next year or so. To view all three episodes, to support the filming of episodes four and five, and for information regarding THE WEB OPERA’s mission, please visit http://www.thewebopera.com
More detailed synopsis (some spoilers):
In Episode One, a college freshman (FG97 – all of the characters are referred to by their e-mail addresses) is installing software for his new webcam when he receives a message from his new roommate, Violinist98. Online, he investigates his roommate to get more information about him, all the while communicating about it with his friend across the hall, June99.
In Episode Two, Violinist98 is practicing violin and then, distracted, he seeks solace online from a forum; eventually he receives a friend request from Bookstore90, a man he’d met the day before, and arranges a date with him for the next night. He informs FG97 via text that he needs the room.
In Episode Three, FG97 visits his friend June99 during Violinist98’s date. Via his webcam, hoping to have a look at Bookstore90, whom FG97 finds suspicious, they have a quick look at the date and discuss this with June’s roommate and two of her roommate’s friends. Having looked, they see something they can’t unsee – and FG97 informs others online about it in a tweet that Violinist98 reads later that evening – as he stares at the webcam.