‘PermaDeath’ Opera To Highlight Challenges of ALS

By David Salazar

Librettist Cerise Jacobs and composer Dan Visconti’s upcoming opera “ PermaDeath,” presented by White Snake Projects, is a work that combines music, theater, and cutting-edge technology, will also highlight Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The opera features the story of gaming enthusiast Sonny, who is struggling with early stages of ALS. In the portrayal of the character, Jacobs has found the support of the Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS), which has made it its mission to “enhance quality of life for people diagnosed with ALS, their families, and communities as they navigate the complexities, both physical and emotional, associated with the disease.”

“One of my goals is for my stories to be impactful outside the rarefied world of opera, so it was natural for me to reach out to the ALS community to listen and learn,” Jacobs noted in a press release. “I sought out Ron Hoffman, the founder and Executive Director of Compassionate Care ALS. Ron has been an invaluable resource, both to educate me about the disease and to ensure that its onstage presentation as a part of the reality of my character, Sonny, is both compassionate and accurate.”

The opera is set for a world premiere in September with Rachele Gillmore as Sonny, Josh Quinn as Apollo, Amy Shoremount-Obra as Artemis, and Patrick Dailey as MiniB, among others. Daniela Candillari will conduct while Sam Helfrich will direct the production.