Electro & Lounge Opera (modern opera and classical crossover)

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«Electro & Lounge Opera» is an exclusive author’s music program in Eastern Europe, combining Olga Rossi’s charming opera vocal and LAFESTA group stylish music: lounge, deep-house, acid-jazz, electro-funk. The songs from Electro & Lounge Opera program are used as soundtracks for «HD Fashion TV», “Madrid Fashion Week” and «High Life» TV program.

Electro & Lounge Opera concert program (in the format of pop-opera, classical crossover lounge & electro opera) lasting up to 60 minutes can be performed at concerts and events either by the complete LAFESTA group (3 members), or accompanied by the symphonic orchestra: from 10 (for small stages, restaurants, clubs) to 25 persons.

The big concert «Electro & Lounge Opera» (LAFESTA solo concert with the symphonic orchestra in the format: contemporary opera, modern opera, and classical crossover.) In October 2013 LAFESTA presented its unique authorial program – Electro & Lounge opera, accompanied by its own symphony orchestra, the modern ballet and the large video-projection. It harmonically combined charming Olga Rossi's opera voice & stylish music of LAFESTA group. Reserve opera singer for an event, corporate party or wedding). Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/117776940

Such a charming modern opera, enriched by a glowing dress of the soloist and the unique video sequence, fits perfectly for events, presentations, weddings and corporate parties inspired by «The Phantom of the Opera», «The Fifth Element», and «Night at the Opera», when an event is aimed to surprise guests and making a holiday memorable. A customer and a concert organizer discuss a program and a song list while reserving the opera performance.

Promo-video: Electro & Lounge Opera (Fragments of LAFESTA group opera performances at the events, presentations, and TV shows). Since 2011 LAFESTA has been performing at the events and corporate parties with its opera program consisting of three members: woman vocal (lyric soprano), DJ/percussion, electro saxophone. Reserve opera vocalist for an event, a corporate party and a wedding). Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/110116976

Olga Rossi (LAFESTA music project soloist) is the author of the texts and the voice parts of Electro & Lounge Opera. Her crystal opera voice (lyric soprano) sounds in all songs. Olga completed her Music Degree in Voice (academic vocal) in National music academy of Ukraine and sang leading parts in such famous operas, as: «Iolanthe», «Marriage of Figaro», «Bohemia», «Zaporozhets za Dunayem». Reserve opera singer performance.

The photos of Electro & Lounge Opera solo concert (LAFESTA music project with the symphonic orchestra, DJ with the symphonic orchestra. Reserve the symphonic orchestra).

The first music video of Electro & Lounge Opera program was made by LAFESTA music project in Valencia, Spain («Electro Opera»). In consequence of this fact two more clips in pop and electro opera style were made: in London («City Jungle») and Barcelona («Easy»).

LAFESTA - Electro opera (classical crossover, pop opera, lounge, deep-house, modern opera). The clip «Electro opera» was filmed in Valencia in the territory of «City of the Future» (La ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias). Watching video clip on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/124664329

History of modern opera, pop opera and classic crossover

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LAFESTA music project performs several genres of contemporary and modern opera (namely pop opera, lounge opera, electro opera) which have a unifying name - «Classical crossover». Classical crossover (the music style, combining different genres of opera) was officially approved not that long ago and became so popular that entered the nomination list of Grammy music award and took a special chart in «Billboard» hit parade. This genre of contemporary opera combined opera vocal and elements of classic music with electronic one, lounge, and pop music. Sometimes the terms «pop opera» (pop opera, operatic pop, house opera) or «modern opera» are used for its definition.

The need for stylish, modern opera music grew together with music culture development. More and more theaters, which specialize in organization and direction of popera, modern opera and electro opera, are being opened all over the world. Even world-famous opera theaters act as employers and stage managers of contemporary opera with more enthusiasm in recent decades; and those, who like opera and classic art, virtually chase for new performances all over the world. They have planned trips at opera festivals, opera first nights and modern opera performances for a year ahead. It means that classical crossover takes its musical place and is esteemed by elegant educated audience.

However all mentioned above does not set aside the competent music management in opera and classic art. Even the largest world theaters try to increase incomes and to make the classic be in demand. For instance, Karnegi Mellon Theater in Pittsburgh has increased the sales of expensive tickets via fancy-dressed door-to-door delivery of the tickets to its customers. «Home opera» has been invented in Berlin, it is an opportunity to order opera directly to home (if it is enough space and there is more than 40 spectators). It is much more democratic and three times cheaper, than in Opera Theater. But the most important thing is that «home opera» gives the feeling of complete participation, as in fact musicians and singers come from the next-door room and perform in several meters from the spectators. Cincinnati Theater took a step further and doubled the attendance of its romantic opera, spraying perfume over the theater.

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Since its origin (in 1600) opera was constantly changing and improving. Comic opera (buffa opera), which afterwards grew into operetta and musicals, appeared along with large grand opera (seria opera). And since the end of the XIX century and the whole XX century modern opera and classical crossover had been worked their way up from experiments with electronic sounding, changes of the manner of opera singing to the worldwide recognition. However, almost all classics faced partial or complete misunderstanding of their contemporaries. During Prokofiev concerts the audience complained that even a cat could play better, walking over the piano. But composers and musicians continued looking for a new sounding in music, which would consistently be adopted by opera.

Long ago in 1753 the first ever electric musical instrument “Golden Dionis” (Denis d'or) was constructed. It was created by Czech inventor and admirer of opera music Vaclav Divis. The instrument looked like a box with a clavier (14 registers), a pedalboard and 790 cords with the system of different tension, which allowed Golden Dionis to imitate arpa, clavecin, lute and even several wind musical instruments sounds. But the audience was overwhelmed by the quality of the sound, which was achieved by the electricity of metallic cords. After the death of the scientist this unique electric instrument was purchased and carried in Vienna by another admirer of opera art.

In the second half of the XIX century a variety of musical instruments appeared and influenced the development of modern opera music: 1860 – «Helmholtz Resonator» (predecessor of electronic beats); 1867 – «Electro-mechanical piano» (changed music tones); 1876 – «Musical telegraph» (synthesized new sounds); 1897 – «Telharmonium» (the first fully-featured polyphonic electronic instrument, which could carry over the sound via telephone network to any subscriber).

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However, changes in opera related not only to integration of electronic and urbanistic sounds, but also symphonic orchestra sounding. Unusual beats, structures and articulation came into use on the academic instruments. The typical examples are the following works: opera «Wozzeck» by Alban Berg (written in atonal manner); the piece for an orchestra by Webern (the first piece of music on a 12-tone row); piano pieces by Schoenberg (dodecaphony); opera «Mother» by Alois Haba (written for quarter-tone in microtonality). Some composers inserted specific items (coins, paper, and glass) between cords of violin, violoncello, piano in order to create live surrealistic sounding in modern opera. Sometimes musicians, making sounds from different items: flint paper, carton box, klaxon, were added to the line up of a symphonic orchestra. Opera singers started using recitative, mumbling, coughing, moaning, and shouting. All these experiments and minimalism in opera and classic music affected the subsequent development of electronic music.

Futuristic opera of the future was developing in parallel bending conventional classic rules. Composers inserted audio-extracts and the sounds of city noise, plants, radio sets in new operas. For examples, Stravinsky used in his concerts one of the first mechanisms producing rhythmic noise (Noise Intoners); and Sati integrated horn humming, glass chinking, plane roaring, and typewriter knocking in musical score. The invention of a magnetic tape led a modern opera out to the next level. Currently composers could create tone pictures directly in a studio, cutting fragments of records, applying different effects and building up unique opera music.

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In the middle of the XX century electronic music departments, which produced new sounds from wave vibrations, recording and saving the best of them on vinyl, appeared under control of scientific institutes. Young composers and musicians could learn about new sounds at modern art exhibitions and even purchase records in order to use them in their opera performances and experiments with classical music. Since 1960th music technologies have been developing so rapidly that each year new electronic sounds and instruments supplemented modern opera performances. As if the Earth and the development of neo-opera art started moving round several times faster (pop opera, lounge opera, rock opera, club opera).

Unfortunately, the whole process leave countries of former USSR aside, there were hardly any premieres and reservations for modern opera performances. Even mild «The Fiery Angel» by Prokofiev and operas by Shostakovich were prohibited. Perhaps a pleasant exception in a long list of taboos can be «Juno and Avos» rock opera and film versions of operettas like «Truffaldino of Bergamo». And after the breakup of the Soviet Union there were also a few modern opera premieres, but it happened mostly because of economic difficulties. Opera developed naturally in Europe and the USA: composers wrote new operas and they were performed instantly. Wagner, Strauss, Ravel, Rossellini, Gershwin… The audience developed its taste simultaneously with the new opera pieces.

In 1960-1980th surrealistic and experimental opera music came in demand for film industry, TV and radio. Lots of operettas, musicals and pop operas got a second wind owing to musical films: «The Foam of the Days» by Denisov, «The Umbrellas of Cherbourg» by Legran, «Westside story» by Bernstein. Rock bands started using fragments and rock adaptation of opera and classical music at their concerts. John Bon Jovi sang with Luciano Pavarotti, and Freddie Mercury sang with Montserrat Caballe.

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Classical crossover owes to the tenor trio for the largest popularization: Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and José Carreras, who performed in a joint project during fifteen years. The trio made debut with «Football song» at the World Football Championship opening in Rome (1990), demonstrating to the whole world in a live television broadcast, that opera singers extended boundaries of academic music. The end of 1990th enriched pop opera by the abundance of opera singers: Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, Emma Shapplin, Alessandro Safina, Lara Fabian, Sissel Shirshebo, Il Divo and many others. All of them sang in classical and neoclassical crossover style, combining pop opera and relax music. Emma Shapplin combined Italian music of Baroque epoch with electronic parties and adaptations in her commercially successful album «Carmine Meo». Although earlier she decided to refuse opera singing after her opera vocal teacher had blamed her for using dance rhythm in one of the classic aria. But the most outstanding example of modern opera sounding was the aria of Plavalaguna from the movies «The Fifth Element» (the composer Eric Serra took as a basis the aria «Il dolce suono» from the «Lucia di Lammermoor» opera, adding synthetic vocal on high notes) and «The Phantom of the Opera».

In the XXI century the audience has clip thinking and opera stage-managers actively use video projection and visual effects in new opera performances in order to capture their attention. For example, in a 5-hour opera «Siegfried» (based on Wagner music) 14 video projectors and laser holography have been used instead of decorations. Contemporary opera (together with electronic music) absorbed extensively modern multimedia, too. The same thing is about sound recording of opera singers. Thus many opera critics have been arguing about the appropriateness of using sound equipment on the opera stage, considering that microphone spoils opera voice sounding.

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Some people fondly believe that if opera singer freely walks on the stage and the microphone isn’t visible, consequently there is in fact no microphone. The truth is that modern technologies allow to hide mini-microphones in singers’ hair, place them during opera concerts in decoration elements at the stage or above it, and even fit the chairs of an opera theater up with embedded dynamics. And not without a reason the sound engineer team of 10-12 persons travelled together with legendary José Carreras during his concert tours. There is several reasons: even opera singers couldn’t do without a microphone at some concert venues (stadiums, open air, concert halls with bad acoustics), if an opera singer performs accompanied by electro instruments and sound portals, and not only with a symphonic orchestra. In addition, any audio record or TV broadcast of opera concert is impossible without competent sound cut-off by microphones. Because of sound sound equipment contemporary opera is able to get across the whole spectrum of singer’s emotions to the audience (even whisper can be heard from the last row of the concert hall).

Melodies and musical score of modern opera reflected the changes, that took place in our society and in our way of thinking. Globalism, Cold War, sexual revolution, migration, social media, fiction set a stamp upon the music, and it filled modern opera with millions of new atmospheric sounds. If one compares musical scores of the XVII century and contemporary ones (mottled with note combinations, which couldn’t be imagined earlier), it appears that in modern opera music one can describe the whole world with the help of notes: barking of a dog, noise of a subway, wind, mobile phone ring. In this regard new opera has become more complicated. Alternatively pop opera has become simpler, as a modern composer uses simple recognizable melodies. But in practice it is much more difficult to compose simple recognizable melody, than an avant-garde symphony. Without regard to music theoricians and orchestral conductors, common people can sing and remember only simple pop melodies of the art of Mozart, Verdi, Tchaikovsky: «The Barber of Seville», «La Traviata», «The Nutcracker».

You can reserve one of the best modern opera programs and reserve opera singer for your theater, holiday or wedding. Program and song list is discussed between a customer and a concert organizer by reserving opera performance.