A live performance of any opera is already three-dimensional – unless, somehow, the singers and sets have been seriously flattened. But the opera ‘Sunken Garden’ is often called the ‘3D opera’ because of its unprecedented fusion of live (three-dimensional) singers with film performances and (three-dimensional) digital projections. The groundbreaking work debuted in London, Lyons, then Toronto — and now the Dallas Opera is presenting its U.S. premiere.
But ‘Sunken Garden’ also represents the fusion of two unique, but chiming artistic talents.
You may know British author David Mitchell from his best-selling novels, including ‘The Bone Clocks’ and ‘Cloud Atlas.’ The latter one became a visually dazzling but so-so film in 2012 from the director of ‘The Matrix Trilogy,’ starring Tom Hanks and Hallie Berry. ‘Cloud Atlas’ is a sci-fi-ish epic racing through six different centuries, with characters’ lives interrupting and rippling through each other across time. It’s characteristic of several of Mitchell’s novels in that it’s seriously involved with music — in this case, a forgotten classical work, whose musical themes and form somewhat echo the story’s own intersecting plotlines.