We are very excited about the new season that Arizona Opera has announced. As some of you know we here at TG2 Studios are big opera fans, but this season is especially exciting since there will be a special engagement of Hercules vs. The Vampires, a hybrid of opera and movie. It has been labeled, “Technicolor Opera slays bloodsuckers with sound.”
Here is what the Arizona Opera website has to say about Hercules vs. The Vampires: Hold on tight for an out of this world event! Hercules vs. The Vampires combines operatic singing and 1960s pop culture, synchronizing live music with the 1961 (Mario Bava) cult classic film, Hercules in the Haunted World. Watch as the original film, starring bodybuilder Reg Park and horror legend Christopher Lee, is projected above a live orchestra and singers performing the music to a new, original score. You’ll thrill as the mighty hero Hercules journeys through the underworld, battling fiendish monsters to rescue his beloved! Action packed, outlandish, and fun for the whole family, Hercules vs. The Vampires offers a fresh take on this gorgeously campy Technicolor world.
The Two Gay Geeks were involved in a very minor way in helping this piece come to Arizona Opera. The music is very accessible to those unfamiliar with opera and of course, there is the classic Mario Bava film to accompany the music. There is something rather interesting about seeing Christopher Lee, or 1958’s Mr Universe, Reg Parker, on the screen open their mouth and out comes a lovely voice singing the dialog.
When The Two Gay Geeks became involved with Arizona Opera, it was in a group tasked with finding alternate ways of bringing opera to a wider audience. Hercules vs. The Vampires was chosen and presented to the new General Director, Joseph (Joe) Spector. We were very glad to hear that the work was indeed chosen to be a part of the season and have been waiting to share the news. We think it is a perfect blend of opera and pop culture. The classic Italian Horror films of the late 50’s/60’s, and even the 70’s remain popular pop culture fodder.
Joseph Specter, Arizona Opera General Director
We recently watched Hercules in the Haunted World, and while it is classic Bava, it is so amazingly bad it can only be improved by adding music and subtitles.
There are a few bits of the opera on YouTube from the original work commissioned by Oregon Opera, and another performance by L.A. Opera that will give you a good idea of what it is all about. We will keep you posted on updates regarding this piece and hope that we can put together some kind of geeky meet-up prior to the event.
Here is the Arizona opera Trailer for Hercules versus the Vampires:
Click here for the Arizona Opera page for this performance.
The rest of the season for Arizona Opera is equally amazing. The season includes Puccini’s Tosca, Leonard Bernstein’s Candide (to coincide with the national celebration of the 100th anniversary of Bernstein’s birth), Rossini’s Barber of Seville, and Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold (the first opera of the epic four opera Der Ring Des Nibelungen). Season subscriptions are now on sale with individual ticket sales to be open soon. Visit the Arizona Opera website here. Arizona Opera Facebook page at this link.