White Snake Projects Unveils 2023-24 Season

By Chris Ruel

White Snake Projects (WSP) has announced its 2023-24 season, featuring life-size puppets, holiday celebrations, recent works from composers worldwide performed by local artists, a community jam, and a satirical reimagining of “Don Giovanni.”

WSP will present composer Jorge Sosa and creator/librettist Cerise Lim Jacobs’ “Monkey: A Kung Fu Puppet Parable. This family-friendly opera blends Bunraku puppetry, CGI, and live performances. It reimagines the Chinese tale “Journey to the West,” reflecting contemporary American multicultural issues. The key characters – Monkey, Pig (Zhu), and Sandwoman (Sha) – are life-sized puppets in CGI settings, with live singers providing their voices.

Singers include countertenor Chuanyuan Liu (Monkey), tenor Yi Li (Monk), bass John Paul Huckle (Zhu), soprano Carami Hilaire (Mara), soprano Cristina Maria Castro (Guan Yin), mezzo-soprano Maria Lopez (Sha), members of Boston Children’s Chorus, and Lizzy Stant, Alexis Peart, David Rivera Bozon, Andrew Stack (chorus), along with six puppeteers who bring the characters to life.

Performance Dates: Sept. 22-24, 2023

In December, WSP presents the “Let’s Celebrate!” opera series showcasing diverse cultural operas alongside traditional holiday programming. The event features four 20-minute operas.

The operas include “Kali Puja” (Avik Sarkar), which celebrates Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and rebirth; “Jo Dooba So Paar” (Omar Najmi) celebrates Eid al-Fitr (the breaking of the fast at Ramadan); “My Little Coqui” (Ivan E. Rodriguez) celebrates Puerto Rico’s coqui frogs, and “Tamale Dumpling” (Stephanie Cho) celebrates a multicultural family’s Thanksgiving traditions.

Performance Date: December 2023 (details TBA)

“Sing Out Strong: Emancipated Voices” engages Boston and Massachusetts communities with stories relevant to an annual theme, with this year’s being “Emancipated Voices” inspired by the 2024 Election: “What Does My Vote Mean?” The program selects composers globally and across diverse backgrounds, who then pick texts for original works performed by local artists.

Performance Date: March 2024 (details TBA)

“Show Out Boston!” highlights Boston’s youth arts on a city-wide stage, fostering collaboration among like-minded organizations and their artists. Previous participants include Boston Arts Academy and Boston Children’s Chorus, among others. This unique one-day event showcases the city’s youngest talents in visual art, music, dance, and more.

Performance Date: April 2024 (details TBA)

In its second year, WSP’s season finale, “Opera Through the Looking Glass,” reinterprets classical operas with a modern perspective, performed in unconventional spaces. This year, composer Ryan Oldham and writers Liz Oldham and Cerise Lim Jacobs offer a satirical take on “Don Giovanni.” By reassessing operas with outdated worldviews, WSP aims to present works relevant to diverse audiences. The 2022 series launched with a reversed perspective on Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte,” re-titled “Cosi! Men Are Like That.”

Performance Date: May 2024 (details TBA)