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The Artificial Heart, an immersive opera by Nathan Felix
Louisville, KY United States
Mexican-American composer Nathan Felix will present his new immersive opera titled The Artificial Heart at the Speed Art Museum (155 Rugby Rd) in Louisville on Friday November 17th at 6:00pm. The Artificial Heart is a satirical opera that is inspired by Robert L. Tools who had the first fully self contained artificial heart transplant in Louisville in 2001.
The opera follows Robert and Carol Tools played by Michael Hyatt and Lucianna Astorga respectively as they search for an option to prolong Robert’s life. Doctors Dowling & Bosco provide the Tool’s with the alternative of an experimental surgery in which an artificial heart can be surgically placed in Rober. The Tool’s agree to the surgery when things go awry. Doctor Dowling is played by Cincinnati based soprano Rachel Kobernick and Doctor Bosco is played by Megan Jacobs who is currently getting her masters degree at the University of Louisville. This immersive opera will occur in and around various spaces within the Speed Art Museum and museum goers are encouraged to follow the performers as they move throughout the museum and amongst the audience. The orchestral ensemble will feature Aimee Quinn on violin, Mary Meyers on viola and Brendan Stock on cello with Misaki Hall conducting.
Felix is known for his guerilla-style approach in presenting classical music in unconventional spaces and The Artificial Heart is no exception, with a performance utilizing space, movement, and acoustics to activate the Speed Art Museum both indoors and outdoors. The idea behind Felix’s immersive opera is similar to a flash mob as it revolves around blurring the line between performer and audience by having musical performers move amongst the audience as they perform a cohesive musical composition. The audience is encouraged to follow the narrative of the piece which entails following the soloists but they are ultimately given agency to explore based on feeling, sight and soundscape.