Invisible Cities was an experiment in using advanced technology to tell a deeply human story. The singers and dancers moved throughout Los Angeles’ Union Station. Each had a monitor through which they heard the orchestra which was in a separate building. The soundstreams were mixed and sent out to the audience’s headphones. As a result, the rehearsal process necessitated ensuring that the singers could be confident without seeing me and that the orchestra, with their remote hearing of the singers, felt secure enough to be luminous in return. Also, as a result, I never saw the actual show until the DVD was released by Industry Records. That magical detachment fit perfectly with Chris Cerrone’s wonderful setting of Italo Calvino’s warm post-modern masterpiece in which reality seems impossible to separate from its magical perception. Chris’ music echoes the imaginative psychological space of the novel and as such, the beautiful historical train station itself became a partner in the journey, deeply validating the technology that made the work come alive.
A startlingly ambitious project by the venturesome opera company The Industry. The idea of putting on an opera in a train station where the characters can be nearly indistinguishable from everyday people in the waiting rooms is a strange and alluring subversion. It would not have been hard for Sharon’s herculean act of coordination and inventive production to overwhelm Cerrone’s delicate and beautiful opera. Importantly, it didn’t. Somehow, even the performance, conducted by Marc Lowenstein, remained sensitive in so intimidating a performance space."