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This weekend: Intimate Opera on Demand

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The Intimate Opera crew performs Kurt Weill's  a scene from Street Scene at an Opera on Demand show.
  • The Intimate Opera crew performs Kurt Weill's a scene from Street Scene at an Opera on Demand show.

Intimate Opera's Opera on Demand shows are grab bags/revues designed with the help of audience questionnaires. "Would you like to see more opera buffa? Bouffe? Souffle?" Not an actual question, but you get the idea.

This time around they're presenting five short operas in their entirety, with total performance time at around an hour. Three pieces are by Indiana composers - John Chittum's Cake, Bill Kloppenburg's Fear Not the Robot and Scott Perkins' Charon. Also included are the world's shortest opera, Peter Reynolds' The Sands of Time (at 3 minutes and 34 seconds), and Samuel Barber's Hand of Bridge.

Performances are June 7, 8 p.m. and June 8, 3 p.m. at IndyFringe Basile Theatre. Tickets run $15 adult and $8 student.

Intimate Opera's been Facebooking/newslettering interviews with featured composers through the week. Here's an excerpt from one with Bill Kloppenberg, which is kind of funny: "I had decided that the vulgar "musical" form was far too mundane for my masterwork, and had opted instead for a short, but virile, opera ... In original conception, the piece was to be written in imitation of the French grand operatic tradition replete with double orchestra and a cast of nearly one hundred.

"A lack of royal patronage necessitated that the parts be pared down, resulting in the final scoring of two soloists, a volunteer chorus, and a small chamber ensemble consisting of cello and vibraphone. The libretto was imagined as a grand dialogue between Greek and Roman gods, but, in an effort to remain relatable, the roles were condensed to "Humans" and "Robots." The length of this epic was dictated by the running time of the show (not including credits) which was generally between seven and ten minutes long. It was within these parameters that Fear Not The Robot was born into the world."

Read more on Intimate Opera's Facebook wall. And/or feel free to revisit my review of an Opera on Demand devoted to American works.

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