Operatica Electronica

w/IQU, DJ El Toro, DJ BlueBlueDay, Seattle Opera Young Artists

Thurs Aug 11, Showbox, 7:30 pm, $5 public/free for members. 21+.

Opera and dance music are no strangers. One of my fondest childhood memories is mock-conducting to Hooked on Classics, which features medleys of symphonies and concertos set to strict disco beats. More recently I've noted the electro-performance group Fischerspooner's co-opting of archetypal costuming, staging, and choreography straight from 18th-century operatic literature.

The fans of the two genres, however, have been more like boys and girls at a junior high sock-hop, pretending to ignore each other while secretly irting from across the gym. The BRAVO! Club, Seattle Opera's social group geared to 21- to 39-year-olds, is working to change all that. It's kicking off its 2005–2006 season with Operatica Electronica, a night of multimedia performances from members of the Seattle Opera and electronic trio IQU, with sets from DJs BlueBlueDay and El Toro (who holds a degree in opera himself... shh!). On display will be a stunning collection of costumes and artwork from Seattle Opera's archives, as well as mind-blowing large-screen visuals.

If you think young, hip opera lover is an oxymoron, stand on the steps outside McCaw Hall on a Saturday night. There are at least as many sexy stilettos and razor cuts coming out the doors as there are blue-hair bouffants. The myths about opera being an exclusive, hoity-toity art form are gradually evaporating, and BRAVO! promoter Christian Quilici hopes to help the trend along: "Never before has our demographic had such an inuence over the entire artistic community in Seattle."

Well, praise be. After all, opera-goers and pop/rock/electronic heads, no matter what age, are really after the same thing: a smart but visceral sensory experience and the afterglow of an emotional high. The Operatica Electronica experiment promises to bring the two groups together to that end. And with the alcohol owing, opera and electronica fans will unite under the other age-old theme that has fueled and inspired both genres—booze. Drinking song, anyone?