2022 | 2023 Season

Opera Parallèle presents

Everest: An Immersive Experience Composer Joby Talbot, Librettist Gene Scheer

On top of the world, everything counts

Overview

Opera Parallèle is taking you to the top of the world! Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring landscapes of Everest for a one-of-a-kind operatic adventure. Based on the true story of an ill-fated expedition in 1996, a group of mountaineers tap into the depths of their physical and emotional selves to realize their dreams of conquering Everest. Following the critical success of OP’s award-winning, genre-defying animated film Everest – A Graphic Novel Opera, the company now offers an entirely new way to experience opera, placing the audience directly in the action among the intricate imagery and soaring soundworld of this breathtaking story. This cutting-edge work fuses the vivid imagery of graphic novels with the visceral power of the operatic voice in a unique multi-sensory environment.

DATES
  • February 3 – 12, 2023
Venue

Running Time: 68 mins with no intermission – performed in English with subtitles.

Renderings by Mark Simmons

THE EXPERIENCE

From the moment you enter the venue, you will be transported into a stylized, animated mountainscape as imagined by Creative Director Brian Staufenbiel, illustrator Mark Simmons and Director of Photography David Murakami. Interactive lobby installations will guide you through a snowy tundra to your seat, where you’ll be invited to wear white ponchos to become part of the projected landscape and be fully immersed into the world of Everest. With a directional surround soundscape you will feel every crack of ice, the menacing storms and the powerful voices of our all-star cast.

SYNOPSIS

Everest follows the true-life stories of three climbers, Rob Hall, Doug Hansen, and Beck Weathers as they attempt to summit Mount Everest in 1996. The crackling mountain, the prevailing wind, the power of nature abounds. Throughout the immersive experience we move between the climbers’ present realities on the mountain, that of their loved ones and their pasts as they slip in and out of consciousness. As the experience begins, we meet Rob, the expedition leader who has just reached the summit – 30 minutes past the safe turnaround time. His client Doug is 40 feet below him. In a separate timeline we meet Beck, semi-conscious on the South Col and hallucinating about his life back in Texas – in particular his daughter Meg who appears to him. Doug finally reaches the summit but is struggling to maintain consciousness – it will be up to Rob to get him safely back down the mountain. Meanwhile a large storm hits below the summit, making their descent even more treacherous. Through Rob’s memories and an extraordinary phone call, we also meet Rob’s pregnant wife Jan Arnold in New Zealand. As the climbers struggle to reach safety through the storm, we experience with them the brutal realities of Everest and the power of human conviction.

HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
  • OP works closely with our venue partners to maintain up to date Health & Safety policies. We regularly monitor local & state guidelines to ensure we are following the most current advice.
  • Health & Safety protocols for this production will be updated when tickets go on sale.
  • For the most up to date information please visit Z Space’s Health & Safety page.

Creative & Production Teams

Click on an image below to learn more
Brian Staufenbiel

Brian Staufenbiel

Director & Creator

Nicole Paiement

Nicole Paiement

Conductor

David Murakami

David Murakami

Projection Designer & Director of Photography

Mark Simmons

Mark Simmons

Illustrator

Miles Lassi

Miles Lassi

Sound Engineer

Jacquelyn Scott

Jacquelyn Scott

Scenic Designer

COMPOSER & LiBRETTIST

Joby Talbot

Joby Talbot

Composer

Gene Scheer

Gene Scheer

Librettist

Cast

*Cast not appearing live
Sasha Cooke

Sasha Cooke

'Jan Arnold'

– Mezzo-Soprano

Nathan Granner

Nathan Granner

'Rob Hall'

– Tenor

Kevin Burdette

Kevin Burdette

'Beck Weathers'

– Bass

Hadleigh Adams

Hadleigh Adams

'Doug Hansen'

– Baritone

Matt Boehler

Matt Boehler

'Guy Cotter, Mike Groom & Vocal Quartet'

– Bass

Charlotte Fanvu

Charlotte Fanvu

'Meg Weathers'

– Treble

Shawnette Sulker

Shawnette Sulker

'Vocal Quartet'

– Soprano

Whitney Steele

Whitney Steele

'Vocal Quartet'

– Mezzo-Soprano

Kevin Gino

Kevin Gino

'Vocal Quartet'

– Tenor

Supporters

Major production support has been provided by Gordon Getty, Bob Ellis, Stephen & Diane Heiman, Paul King, Donna Dubinsky & Len Shustek, Scott R. Lord, and The Future Fund.

Major institutional and corporate support for Opera Parallèle has been provided by Adobe, The Lemala Fund, National Endowment for the Arts, City & County of San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation

The Bullhorn programming is supported in part through a Civic Practice Grant from OPERA America’s Opera Fund and by The Henry W. and Nettie Robinson Foundation.