Lillian, a Folk Opera By Ben Lear, Son of Norman, to Debut at Le Poisson Rouge

By Thomas Peter
18 May 2010

Lillian, a multimedia, ocean-set folk opera by Ben Lear, will premiere in a concert at Le Poisson Rouge May 21 at 7 PM.



Lear will collaborate with multi-media art group Aytia/Matia to stage the concert with projected video art, sequenced lighting and additional underwater footage provided by actor-director Fisher Stevens, who won an Oscar for producing this year's Best Documentary, "The Cove."

Lear will sing the lead role, with additional vocals provided by Alice Bacon, Kris Nolte, Ian Davis and Renata Zeiguer. A 15-piece orchestra will accompany the evening.

The folk opera's story follows "a young man kept awake by the fear that he's watching his lover, who sleeps soundly in bed, drift away from him, becoming one of the many things he's lost in his life.
He determines that all the things we lose in our lives end up in an island of trash floating in the Pacific Ocean and in a desperate attempt to reclaim these things, he sets off on a scuba-diving journey to that island. Along the way he meets strange sea creatures, who trigger discoveries within his mind's journey to determine how and why he began to lose Lillian," according to press notes.

All proceeds from the concert will benefit Project Kaisei, a San Francisco-based organization dedicated to helping the area of the Pacific Ocean, known as the Garbage Patch, that is contaminated with industrial plastics.

Lear, the son of television and film producer Norman Lear, recently graduated from the music composition program at New York University. His short story, "Storstad," was published on the Huffington Post in 2008.

Le Poisson Rouge is located at 158 Bleecker Street. For tickets call (212) 353-3474 or visit www.lepoissonrouge.com. For more information on Project Kaisei, visit projectkaisei.org.