MIRANDA will bring online audiences face-to-face with a motley cast of would-be murderers–highly detailed 3D avatars controlled in real time by studio actors located in Binghamton, NY. The format was conceived by LUMA co-founder Joshua Bernard Ludzki, whose fascination with well-crafted immersive theater made him wonder if the same level of intimacy could be produced remotely via VR. As with live theater, each performance of Miranda will be unique to ensure a nuanced experience. In contrast to live theater, every viewer will have a premium seat as they watch with only a few other audience members inside one of several hundred virtual 'rows'.
With a story and score by groundbreaking composer Kamala Sankaram, MIRANDA transports us to a dystopian future where growing class disparities have reached epic proportions and our criminal justice system serves only as a parody of what it once was. A wealthy woman has died under mysterious circumstances and three suspects’ lives are on the line. They’ll testify in aria for the chance at freedom. The online audience will serve as judge and jury–but can they even accept their own role at face value? Or has the game been rigged from the start?
Sankaram’s score balances apocalyptic pop beats with the lush lyricism of classic opera, recounting a tale that explores themes of class, bureaucracy and self-determination. The story is set against a retro-futurist backdrop that would be near impossible to realize on a traditional stage. Critically acclaimed director Alison Moritz (Washington National Opera Omaha, Tanglewood Festival) is adapting and directing the work in collaboration with interactive designer Diego Matias. Tice Lerner, Joshua Bernard Ludzki (LUMA) and John Rozzoni (Tri-Cities Opera) executive produce.