black lodge

Black Lodge at Opera Philly Fest

Black Lodge is coming to Opera Philly Fest O22 at Broad Street’s Philadelphia Film Center, on October 1 and 2.

If Philly is a David Lynch town (what from his time at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the erection of the Eraserhood in his name) then Black Lodge – the multi-media, cinematic, industrial rock-opera hybrid screening with a live performance at its close at Broad Street’s Philadelphia Film Center, October 1 and 2 – is for you.

“We’ve worked in the past with Opera Philadelphia and their O Festivals on projects such as Breaking the Waves, composed by Missy Mazzoli and believe that David Devan’s company is one of the most forward-think and unique in the country,” said producer and co-commissioner Beth Morrison during a brief conversation with Tumir, the principal vocalist at the center of the Black Lodge’s maelstrom. “Plus I have always been obsessed by Lynch and his concept of the Black Lodge, its haunting possibilities.

black lodge

The co-commissioned crossover highlight of the 2022 Philadelphia Fringe Festival and Opera Philadelphia’s Fest O22, composer David T. Little’s dark horrorcore opera gets its name, influence and supernatural vibe from David Lynch and Mark Frost’s still-beloved, ABC mystery series Twin Peaks, its follow-up film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and its Showtime network sequel, Twin Peaks: The Return. The Black Lodge? It is a purgatory of sorts, an evil nightclub, a rotted-out lounge, the ultimate void – a bardo.

With that bardo, comes the influence of Lynch’s fellow purveyor of the darkness, caustic, inter-zonal author William S. Burroughs of Naked Lunch, Junkie and Western Lands renown.

black lodge

With that, Little and producer/co-commissioner Morrison (of Beth Morrison Projects) brought on post-Beat poet and Burrough friend and acolyte Anne Waldman (as Black Lodge’s librettist) and ex-Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore as the opera’s executive producer. “The Beats were considered the bad boys of literature – outlaws – and Burroughs was the baddest,” said Waldman before detailing how the ferocity of her libretto for Black Lodge is based on Burroughs’ work, and how so much of it was about him and his process and the events in his life. “He was his process,” she says.

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