Pangaea: When The Continents Were One is a multi-media opera presented by Philadelphia based label and music collective, earSnake. The music and story for the opera were written by composer and sound artist Mike McDermott (Mikronesia) over the past 15 years.
Pangaea: When The Continents Were One will be premiered on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11) at The Rotunda in Philadelphia, PA. The multi-media opera will be presented by a 17 piece ensemble of strings, horns, flute, percussion, piano, electronics, guitars and voice. Sets, costumes, life sized puppets and masks are being designed by Liza Goodell of Spiral Q Puppet Theater and Tigre Bailando. In addition to the ensemble of musicians, singers and human puppets, Nico Dominguez (of Klip Collective) will be presenting images from the story that will be digitally projected and manipulated on stage. Pangaea's mix of world, chamber, electronic and rock music plus the blend of real life and digital visuals will make this premiere a truly modern spectacle of sight and sound.
The story is a new mythology about the first humans who lived on the super continent Pangaea. On one giant continent the first tribes of man lived a simple life style. Over time the tribes began to embrace technology and turn away from their natural animal like ways. Recently the super continent of Pangaea is undergoing tumultuous environmental change as the continents begin to split into the continents we know today. Floods, volcanic eruptions, storms, changing seasons, wild fires and other ecological disasters begin to plague the simple people of Pangaea. The tribes begin to blame each other for displeasing the gods who have brought about these tumultuous changes. As tensions between the tribes increases the people of Pangaea are on the brink of an all out war.
Vocalists: Lillie Ruth Bussey, Megan Cauley, Brian McDermott, John Morrison, Steve Quaranta, Jalima Shani with Christian Rabin
Drums and Percussion: Jimmy Colman
Strings: Carlos Santiago, Maura Diberardinis, Steve Heitlinger, Johnell Lawrence and Christine Mello
Horns: Adam Hershberger and Larry Toft
Flutes: Heather Fortune
Keyboards, Guitars and Electronics: Michael McDermott
Video: Nico Dominguez
Sets and Masks: Liza Goodell
Masks: Tigre Bailando
Recording of Pangaea made possible by American Composers Forum
Performance made possible by Kick Starter