Composer Daron Hagen & The Mercury Collective Release ‘Orson Rehearsed: The Final Thoughts of Orson Welles’ Online

By David Salazar

Composer Daron Hagen and The Mercury Collective have released “Orson Rehearsed: The Final Thoughts of Orson Welles” online.

The opera film stars Omar Mulero, Robert Frankenberry, and Robert Orth as they present the iconic filmmaker and actor at the threshold between life and death.

The work has been presented at a number of major festivals and took home major awards from the Los Angeles Motion Picture Festival, LA Indies, Toronto Film and Script Awards, Chicago Indie Film Awards, The Oaks International Film Festival, Austin International Art Festival, New Wave Short Film Festival in Munich, Swedish International Film Festival and Montreal Independent Film Festival, among others.

“…The three Welles avatars, Tenors Omar Mulero and Robert Frankenberry and baritone Robert Orth sing with dramatic conviction, attractive tone, and clear diction. The Fifth House Ensemble, led by conductor Roger Zaheb, provides the lively, characterful instrumental component. … I found Hagen’s ‘Orson Rehearsed’ a compelling and moving experience. If you are adventurous in your operatic tastes and are at all interested in the featured subject matter, I heartily recommend it for your consideration,” said a review from Fanfare Magazine.

“It is so hard not to shoot for the moon when a fella receives an important question like that about a project into which have been poured so much love and thought and hard work. In the end, what one intended to have created is irrelevant; all that matters is what happened,” Hagen told OperaWire about what he hopes audiences take away from the experience. “The opera’s been staged; the CD is out on Naxos; the film’s streaming on various platforms, and the DVD is in post. So it’s done. Except that, now, Louisiana State University is staging the first live revival—with three female Orsons, in the spring—Welles would have loved that, don’t you think? So, what sort of takeaway would I wish an audience might have?  Life is not a rehearsal, and yet, in a way, it is; we’re always running around and trying to finish things, forgetting that life and art are both a Process, and that Process was the point.”

ORSON REHEARSED from The New Mercury Collective on Vimeo.