On Sunday Nov. 23 some fantastic singers brought the new opera Viva’s Holiday to life for the first time. It was terrific! Such a pleasure and a thrill to hear each scene unfold, the parts sung sometimes with humor and sometimes with sentiment, and along the way discover those passages that still need minor revision for vocal register or score clarification.
Thanks to the great singers who brought their expertise and talent to this workshop. Ksenia Popova sang Viva, Alexander Elliott sang Dad, Hannah Penn sang Mom and Ian José Ramirez sang the part of Brother. Jana Griffin provided piano accompaniment, and the group also sang through much of the piece “karaoke-style” with the computer-rendered chamber-orchestra arrangement.
Viva’s Holiday is a collaboration between Cult of Orpheus producer/composer Christopher Corbell and Portland author/entertainer Viva Las Vegas . The libretto is based on material from Viva’s auto-biographical Magic Gardens: The Memoirs of Viva Las Vegas. The forty-five-minute, one-act opera for four singers and chamber orchestra explores attitudes toward sex work and family dynamics that unfold as Viva visits her family home in Duluth, Minnesota for the holidays, after becoming a stripper in Portland.