La MaMa to World Premiere ‘ICELAND, a re-Creation Myth’

By Afton Wooten

“ICELAND, a re-Creation Myth” by O-Lan Jones and Emmett Tinley will make its world premiere at La MaMa in NYC. Opening night is scheduled for March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Ellen Stewart Theatre at La Mama. Shows follow through April 2.

The multidisciplinary opera features the ancient mythology of Iceland, following Vala, a disillusioned architect in search of answers, and Mundi, a dispirited wilderness guide suffering mental trauma through separate journeys through the Hiddenfolk and the Mythic Beasts realms. Through music, movement, and design “ICELAND” explores the power of love, relationships, intimacy, and life on earth.

The piece features a cast of 14 including Ariel Andrew, Marieke de Koker, Oliver Demers, Perri di Christina, Clayton Matthews, Nancy McArthur, Matthew Moron, Matt Mueller, Isabel Springer, Andrew Wannigman, Angela Yam, and Daiyao Zhong. They are joined by an 11-piece chamber orchestra. Robert Kahn serves as music director alongside Assistant Director Livia Reiner. Lighting and Scenic Design were done by Matthew Imhoff and Costuming by Matsy Stinson.

The score pulls from Iceland’s cultural past using its rich folk tradition. Jones’s orchestration features the langspil, a traditional Icelandic dulcimer-like instrument. The opera centers around two leads with a “contemporary singer-songwriter sound,” classically trained operatic vocalists, and an SATB choir.

The new work is sponsored by Overtone Industries and executive producer Michael Harris.