The site specific opera Invisible Cities is up and running at LA's historic Union Station. Location aside, something in this original work demands that I subject it to the New York Magazine Approval Matrix I carry around in my mind. It's a snarky, quadfurcated rating system for the latest trends and happenings.
The phrase "based on an Italo Calvino novel" should guarantee it a spot in the Highbrow range.
Opera purists might consider the fact that ticket holders must rely on wireless headphones to get the full sound mix as reason enough to send this innovative work to the Despicable end of a "deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies." A philistine myself, I think matching wandering singers to an invisible live orchestra (they're sequestered in a nearby room) sounds Brilliant. It's as if a silent disco and a flash mob mated, giving birth to a baby with impervious street cred and an incredible set of pipes. Here, have a listen...
Unlike the typical Improv Everywhere lark, the audience here is in on this gag. Though innocent passersby may wonder why various individuals are mooning around the terminal singing, Invisible Cities is a ticketed performance. Indeed, its popularity is such that the producers have needed to add extra free shows. Approval Matrix suggests it's time to hop a train to LA.
H/T Kim L.