Chelsea Factory to Present Malena Dayen & David Rosenmeyer’s ‘luzAzul’

By David Salazar

Chelsea Factory is set to present “luzAzul,” an opera for babies this June.

The 30-minute experience for babies between 0 – 24 months, is set for June 7 and 8; there will be six shows in total.

Per the official website for the show, “luzAzul explores symmetry, the awareness of feelings and connection, the mirror that the interaction offers to both baby and adult, and the ability of building and experiencing together. This opera awakens the small baby in all of us, and gives our tiniest audience members the chance to experience the power of the combined elements of music, dance, scenic design and interactive technology… Two performers share a story of exploration and connection, welcoming the audience to play, interact and make sound. The sounds and movements of the babies become integrated into both the score and the storytelling: as the performers sing and move, they invite the audience to imitate, improvise, and co-create.”

Malena Dayen, the director of the show, told OperaWire that the inspiration for “luzAzul” derived from her “experience as a songwriter in Carnegie Hall’s Lullaby Project, which connects mothers and babies through the creation of song” and that this project will be a continuation of her work ”making opera with interactive media, extending this experience into arts for very young audiences and further exploring how performance can be a space for mothers/caregivers to make music alongside babies and find ways to connect, play and express themselves musically.

“Very young babies communicate, develop language, respond to music, and experience sound as a soothing reassurance of the maternal connection. The goal is to foster a deep love of the arts for families in these early years by creating spaces for play and connection, inviting audiences to absorb and participate in ways that are both child- centered and parent-child-centered,” she added.

Dayen created the work alongside composer David Rosenmeyer, choreographer Troy Ogilvie, tech designer Sangmin Chae, and sound designer Tae Jong Park. It will feature such artists as Samarie Alicea, Noa Fort, Eugenia Forteza, and Sam Ogilvie.