FULL PINK MOON: Opera Povera in Quarantine

 Apr 07, 2020, 7:00 PM – 2:00 AM

The Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry and California Institute of the Arts present Opera Povera’s production of FULL PINK MOON: Opera Povera in Quarantine, a livestream fundraising opera performance of visionary composer Pauline Oliveros’s open-form people’s opera entitled “The Lunar Opera; Deep Listening For_Tunes.”

FULL PINK MOON will occur on the full pink moon of Tuesday April 7, 2020, 8:00pm - 2:00am CDT as a durational virtual opera featuring vocalists, instrumentalists, noise practitioners, and performers of all kinds. The event will feature a collective virtual performance by 250+ artists from around the world, and a pre-opera virtual discussion at 7pm CDT co-hosted by former Gray Center fellows George Lewis and Sean Griffin, artist Ron Athey, and additional guest curators and artists.

Featuring an inclusive and collaborative score by Oliveros, FULL PINK MOON allows each performer to actively determine all creative choices: when and how to perform, choose cues, characters, costumes, and props, and harness creative performance power to reach out and share with each other in a time of separation and quarantine with a collective structure that Oliveros defined as “dedicated to tolerance and freedom”.


FULL PINK MOON will be livestreamed for the audience on the Opera Povera Full Pink Moon webpage, and will also be streamed simultaneously via Facebook Live, YouTube, and Twitch. Performers will interact with each other via Zoom. The audience feed will alternate between the main Zoom livestream featuring all of the artists performing at once, and curated interludes featuring smaller ensembles throughout the 6-hour performance.

This event was created in mid-March 2020 by Sean Griffin, founder of Opera Povera and a collaborator of Oliveros, and Los Angeles musician Madeline Falcone, A&R manager of the Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund, as an artistic and financial call to arms against the COVID-19 pandemic and as a response to the continued social distancing and lockdowns worldwide.

Said Griffin, “We are in a time of isolation but we can be deeply connected right now by that separation we feel by reaching out. It is important to understand that Oliveros’s opera is not a spectator’s opera, rather, it is a vast participatory operatic landscape of moondrunk people in a fictional space of free expression and listening. Oliveros’s work addresses interaction between people is something extremely valuable in contemporary music and perhaps very suited to our current realignment of social engagement.”

Said Falcone, “"Over the last couple weeks we have seen our artistic community come together during this time of extreme uncertainty and, for many of us, indefinite loss of our livelihoods. We are showing up for each other. The artists in FULL PINK MOON are searching for ways to continue their creative work through this period of isolation, and we humbly ask in the spirit of Oliveros’s work to consider a donation if you have the resources to help our community of musicians”.

Produced by opera design and performance consortium Opera Povera, FULL PINK MOON is presented by the University of Chicago’s Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry and California Institute of the Arts. It is the first event of Gray Sound Sessions, a new experimental music-and-sound series at the Gray Center. 


(additional performers added daily, until the day of performance)

The event is a global fundraiser supporting musicians financially affected during the COVID-19 pandemic, administered through the Equal Sound Corona Relief Fund, and also supports Opera Povera’s Full Pink Moon production expenses.

Pauline Oliveros's (1932 - 2016) life as a composer, performer, and humanitarian was about opening her own and others' sensibilities to the universe and facets of sounds. Her career spanned fifty years of boundary-dissolving music making. In the '50s she was part of a circle of iconoclastic composers, artists, poets gathered together in San Francisco. In the 1960's she influenced American music profoundly through her work with improvisation, meditation, electronic music, myth and ritual. She was the recipient of four Honorary Doctorates and among her many recent awards were the William Schuman Award for Lifetime Achievement, Columbia University, New York, NY, The Giga-Hertz-Award for Lifetime Achievement in Electronic Music from ZKM, Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany, and The John Cage award from from the Foundation of Contemporary Arts. Oliveros was Distinguished Research Professor of Music at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, and Darius Milhaud Artist-in-Residence at Mills College. She founded "Deep Listening ®," which came from her childhood fascination with sounds and from her works in concert music with composition, improvisation and electro-acoustics. She described Deep Listening as a way of listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what you are doing. Such intense listening includes the sounds of daily life, of nature, of one's own thoughts as well as musical sounds. 'Deep Listening is my life practice," Oliveros explained, simply. Oliveros founded Deep Listening Institute, formerly Pauline Oliveros Foundation, now the Center For Deep Listening at Rensselaer, Troy, NY. Her creative work is currently disseminated through The Pauline Oliveros Trust and the Ministry of Maåt, Inc.

Lunar Opera: Deep Listening For_Tunes © 2000 Pauline Oliveros 
Original libretto and story by IONE
Courtesy of IONE, The Oliveros Trust and The Ministry of Maåt 
Members ASCAP