Showing posts with label Facets Multimedia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Facets Multimedia. Show all posts

Saturday, February 23, 2013

ACT OUT OPENING TONIGHT: Philip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher 4 Shows Only

#3 – Suzan Hanson as Madeline and Ryan MacPherson as Roderick 
All photos by Keith Ian Polakoff, courtesy of Long Beach Opera.

 Chicago Opera Theater presents the Chicago Premiere of
By Philip Glass

The Chicago Opera Theater opens its 2013 season, the inaugural season of new general director Andreas Mitisek, with Philip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher, in four performances only February 27-March 1 This gothic tale of suspense, horror and the supernatural is based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe.  

ChiIL Live Shows will be there...will YOU?!   We've been promoting this production for months and it's finally here.   We'll be reviewing opening night, tonight, and can't wait.   We heard two numbers at a sneak peek at Facets Multimedia last weekend featuring the film, Koyaanisqatsi, with a score also by Philip Glass.   They had me at "goth-punk moving men"--four of my fav words all in one character description!

Andreas Mitisek Takes Audiences to the Edge of Madness in
His First Season as Chicago Opera Theater’s General Director

Philip Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher, a gothic horror story which blurs the line between the real world and the supernatural, opens Chicago Opera Theater's 2013 Season, titled “Power of Love, Love of Power.”  This is Andreas Mitisek's inaugural season as General Director of Chicago Opera Theater since assuming the position in June 2012.  

Glass' haunting 1987 score for Edgar Allan Poe's macabre masterpiece, with lyrics by Arthur Yorinks, provides the perfect backdrop for this nightmarish journey to the edge of madness.  The Fall of the House of Usher, taking place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Drive, runs for four performances only: Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, February 24 at 3 p.m., Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Friday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m.  

#1 – Lee Gregory as William, Nicholas Shelton as the Servant, 
Ryan MacPherson as Roderick 

The Fall of the House of Usher is a co-production with Long Beach Opera (LBO), whose production opens January 27.  An opera in two acts, The Fall of the House of Usher takes the audience deep into the eerie realm of the House of Usher.  When William receives a letter from his long lost friend Roderick Usher, apparently suffering from illness and requesting William’s presence, he journeys to the sinister mansion where Roderick and his twin sister Madeline live as the last of the Usher bloodline.  At first William tries to aid his friend by reminding Roderick of his passion for art, music and literature, but William soon becomes swallowed up in a world where the border separating real and supernatural is blurred, and paranoia then takes control.  Taken from one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most popular tales, this unsettling story explores the line between truth and imagination, all set against Glass' haunting and suspenseful music.  COT has also performed Glass’ opera Akhnaten in 2000.

“Our 2013 Season emphasizes the tension between the power of love and the love of power,” explains Mitisek, who conducts both the COT and LBO performances.  “The Fall of the House of Usher is about internal and external collapsing worlds.  Glass’ music suspends reality and time, hypnotizing us on this journey to the edge of sanity.  It’s a 90-minute psychological roller coaster ride.”

Ken Cazan returns to COT to direct Usher after directing the acclaimed Death in Venice (2004), Bluebeard’s Castle (2007), Erwartung (2007) and Shining Brow (1997).  He is the Resident Stage Director for the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.  One of America’s most sought-after directors, he has directed more than 100 productions for more than 40 opera companies, including the Santa Fe Opera, Central City Opera, Atlanta Opera, and Seattle Opera, among others.  Of Usher, Cazan says, “Things are rarely what they seem in Gothic horror tales.  What on the surface feels like a tragic and spooky story (which it is), instinctively, upon the first hearing and reading of Glass’ opera, felt like something very different to me.  William feels an unusual sense of passion for Roderick, whom he hasn’t seen since childhood.  William very forcefully speaks of taking Roderick away, of saving him.  And what of Madeleine, Roderick’s ailing ‘identical’ twin sister?  In the opera, William hears her without seeing her.  Does she really exist?”

The Fall of the House of Usher runs for four performances February 23, 24, 27, and March 1 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.  Individual tickets to are on saleJanuary 21 and range from $45  $125.  Tickets may be purchased through Chicago Opera Theater at, by phone at 312-704-8414, or through the Harris Theater at and 312-334-7777.  COT offers half-off tickets to students in sections A, B, C and D. 

Subscriptions to all three operas in Chicago Opera Theater’s 2013 season are available through March 1 and prices range from $95  $356. Subscriptions include The Fall of the House of Usher, Astor Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires (April 20, 24, 26 and 28) and Giuseppe Verdi’s Joan of Arc (Giovanna d'Arco)(September 21, 25, 27 and 29).  New subscribers received 50% off in sections A, B and C. 

#2 – Lee Gregory as William, Ryan MacPherson as Roderick, 
Suzan Hanson as Madeline

COT DEBUT: Suzan Hanson (Madeline Usher) is a multi-faceted artist who combines work in opera and music-theater.  Her recent performances of Poulenc’s La Voix Humane was described as “fresh and forceful…[with] blazing dramatic fervor…” by The San Francisco Chronicle.  Hanson has performed with companies such as Arena di Verona, Arizona Opera, Carnegie Hall, Edinburgh, Long Beach Opera, Maggio Musicale (Florence), New Israeli Opera, Pittsburgh Opera Theater, and San Francisco Opera.  Often sought for new works, Hanson has originated many roles, including Hanako in Sound of a Voice.  She is a regular with LBO and has sung Pat Nixon in Nixon in China, Medea in Meda by Cherubini and Margarita inAinadamar by O. Golijov.  Hanson originated the role of Madeline in The Fall of the House of Usher in the World Premiere production by American Repertory Theater.

COT DEBUT: Lee Gregory (William) hails from Houston, Texas.  His recent performances include Silvio in I Pagliacci with Arizona Opera Company, Richard Nixon in Nixon in China with Eugene Opera, Schaunard in La bohème with Michigan Opera Theatre, and the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Theatre of the Rockies.  He reprises the role of William in COT’s production, having sung it with Nashville Opera.

COT DEBUT: Jonathan Mack (Physician) has performed over fifty roles during his eighteen seasons with the Los Angeles Opera, including Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Kudrjas in Janacek’s Katya Kabanova, Quint in Britten’s Turn of the Screw, and Orpheus in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld.  He has also worked with Netherlands Opera, Kentucky Opera, Vancouver Opera and Opera Columbus.

COT DEBUT: Ryan MacPherson (Roderick Usher) sings this season with Virginia Opera as Alfred in Die Fledermaus and returns to the Buxton Festival as Horace in Gounod’s La colombeand Kornélis in Saint-Saëns’ La princesse jeune.  He has performed with Dayton Opera, Utah Opera, Portland Opera and Nashville Opera, among others.  With New York City Opera he created the role of Iff, the Water Genie, in Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

COT DEBUT: Nick Shelton (Servant) has garnered unanimous accolades for his dark, piercing voice, refined musicianship, and commanding stage presence.  Recent season highlights include Jose Tripaldi in Golijov's Ainadamar with Long Beach Opera, of which raved “that is some terrific voice!” and called him “a name to remember.”

COT DEBUT: Set designer Alan E. Muraoka has been working in the entertainment industry as a production designer and art director for film and television, as well as a theatrical set designer for over 25 years.  He has been honored with two Emmy® Award nominations and three Art Directors’ Guild Award nominations.  His design credits include Dirty Girl andBaadAsssss!  He has collaborated with Mitisek at Long Beach Opera, designing Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice, staged in an Olympic swimming pool, and an opera adaptation ofThe Diary of Anne Frank staged in an underground parking garage. 

Costume designer Jacqueline Saint Anne is an Emmy Award-winning costume designer and former President of the Costume Designers Guild.  Saint Anne returns to COT with The Fall of the House of Usher, having debuted with Owen Wingrave in 2010.  This also marks Saint Anne’s second production with Long Beach Opera, where she debuted with The Cunning Little Vixen in 2009.  With Ken Cazan, she has designed for the Thornton Opera at USC: Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, Three Decembers, The Rape of Lucretia and Summer and Smoke, among others.

COT DEBUT: Lighting designer David Martin Jacques’ collaborations with director Cazan include The Fall of the House of Usher with Long Beach Opera, West Side Story with the Vancouver Opera Company, and A Little Night Music, Gianni Schicchi, Oklahoma! and Seven Deadly Sins with Central City Opera.  Jacques also serves as Professor of Theatre and Head of Stage Design at California State University Long Beach.

Mitisek’s work as director, designer and conductor for site-specific productions in parking garages, swimming pools, night clubs and warehouses has become a successful hallmark of his work with Long Beach Opera, and he anticipates incorporating such innovative projects into the COT repertoire.  In addition to being named “LA Tastemaker” by LA Times Magazine in 2009and highlighted as one of “2012 People” by LA Weekly, in 2012 Mitisek was named by Opera News as one of the 25 people that will be a major force in the field of opera in the coming decade.  Recent LBO credits as director, designer and conductor include Golijov’s Ainadamar, Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires (which will be the second production of COT’s 2013 season), Lang’s Difficulty of Crossing a Field, Cherubini’s Medea and Glass’ Akhnaten. 

Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.  His operas – Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha,Akhnaten and The Voyage, among many others – play throughout the world’s leading houses.  Glass has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as “The Hours” and Martin Scorsese’s “Kundun.”  He was born in 1937, grew up in Baltimore, and studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and in Aspen with Darius Milhaud.

Founded in 1974 by Alan Stone, Chicago Opera Theater has carved a significant place for itself in the operatic life of Chicago and has reached an audience of hundreds of thousands through its main stage performances, community engagement, education programs in Chicago Public Schools, as well as its renowned Young Artist Program.  Chicago Opera Theater presents first-class productions of operatic repertoire, ranging from the great works of the 17th, 18th and 20th centuries to intimate and innovative contemporary productions by top-tier, internationally renowned conductors, directors and designers.

Philip Glass
February 23, 24, 27, and March 1 at the Harris Theater for Music & Dance

Book by Arthur Yorinks and Philip Glass
Based on the Story by Edgar Allan Poe
Lyrics by Arthur Yorinks 

Conductor:                                            ANDREAS MITISEK
Director:                                               KEN CAZAN
Set Designer:                                       ALAN E. MURAOKA
Costume Designer:                               JACQUELINE SAINT ANNE
Lighting Designer:                                DAVID JACQUES

Sung in English with English supertitles.

Role                                                     Cast (Alphabetical)                                          
Madeline Usher (Soprano)                     SUZAN HANSON 
William (Baritone)                                 LEE GREGORY 
Physician (Tenor)                                 JONATHAN MACK
Roderick Usher (Tenor)                        RYAN MACPHERSON
Servant (Bass-Baritone)                                    NICHOLAS SHELTON 

GOTH-PUNK MOVING MEN:  Joshua Banks, Curtis Bannister, Nathan Gardner, Jamal Howard, Matt Messina, Jordan Phelps, Will Snyder.

The Fall of the House of Usher is generously supported by Orli & Bill Staley and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

For more information on the Chicago Opera Theater and its programs please visit

Friday, January 11, 2013

WHAT WE'RE WATCHING: Filmmaker Jim Hemphill at Facets this Weekend


Facets Film Dialogue
with filmmaker Jim Hemphill 

Filmmaker Jim Hemphill will be here in person for a Q&A at both screenings on Friday, January 11th, as well as the 3 pm screenings on Saturday & Sunday, January 12 & 13. 


"Convincing, moving and provocative"

"An alive and involving film... an equitable, tender, sometimes surprising game of hard truth-telling"
  -Los Angeles Times

"There isn't a false note in either the dialogue or the performances"
  -Village Voice

 "Director Jim Hemphill's naturalistic dialogue and direction is so unfussy — and, at times, humanly awkward—as to feel a bit like a documentary. Call it mumblecore for grown-ups (i.e., minus the mumbling)"
  -New York Post

"Part of the greatness of this film is that it not only avoids any simple answers, but it also takes us into the awkward contradictions and internal dishonesties that help us look at the mirror each day."

"Engagingly written and well played by both leads... the movie lets one night tell the lifetime story of two people who know each other too well to hide anything"
  -TimeOut Chicago

Robert (John Shea) is a middle-aged jazz musician who ekes out a living playing piano in a hotel bar. He is a perpetual "starving artist", but he likes it that way, being able to flirt while living a life of leisure with minimal commitments. When his daughter Jenny (Danielle Harris) tells him that she is engaged, he advises her against getting married, as his own relationship to Jenny's mom Emily (Lea Thompson, Back to the Future, Some Kind of Wonderful) did not last. He does not understand why anyone would want to give up their independence. Yet when Robert and Emily reunite for dinner, it quickly becomes clear that things are more complicated than he believed. They still have feelings for each other, and as the night progresses, begin to wonder if they made a mistake by splitting up, as memories and confessions bring things to the surface. Robert and Emily eventually find that they have a lot of unresolved issues to talk about, which leads to unexpected results. They eventually learn that marriage is like a phone call in the night: first the ring, and then you wake up. 

Directed by Jim Hemphill, U.S.A., 2011, 96 mins.

New York Post     Film Threat         

Monday, August 27, 2012

Play Locally: Featured Facets Films-Patang


4 stars "This film is joyous, but more
than that: it's lovely in its construction"
-Roger Ebert

Critics' Pick! "Lovely, unforced"
-New York Times

with filmmaker Prashant Bhargava

"Patang" is playing at Facets @ 7pm and 9pm through Thursday the 30th. Jerome McDonnell interviewed Milos and the director on WBEZ, and the director is going to speak after ALL the 7pm shows for the whole run. 

Free street parking is available on Fullerton Avenue, as well as the residential sidestreets (Greenview and Bosworth) and Clybourn AvenueParking map  
1517 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago IL 60614

Sales hours:
    9am-5pm, Mon.-Fri.

Rental hours:
    10am-10pm, Mon.-Sat.,
    12pm-10pm, Sun. & holidays
$9 general admission TicketWeb

Friday, August 10, 2012

Facets Film Happenings

Starting Friday, August 10th
Ah Tao is a domestic helper who has worked as maid and nanny for several generations of the Leung family since her teens. Over the 60 years that Ah Tao dedicated to serving the household, elders passed away, children were born and grew up, and most members of the family emigrated. She now takes care of Roger, a bachelor film producer and the last family member to remain in Hong Kong. One day, Ah Tao falls ill when preparing supper. In the evening, Roger returns from a trip and finds the aging servant unconscious after a stroke. But life without Ah Tao makes Roger begin to realize just how important she is to him and he decides to look after the woman who has nursed him all his life. The two grow closer to each other, and their mutual affection brings solace and contentment to their lives. More Info  
Facets Film Portal

 Facets Multi-Media's mission is to preserve, to present, and to distribute independent, world, and classic film, and to educate adults and children in the art and legacy of film.

Facets Film Portal extends that mission by scouring the web for streaming films that have fallen through the cracks, and presenting our discoveries daily. Feel free to search, to watch, to discuss, and to suggest what would make your experience better.  More Info 
Facets in the Community
Facets Town Hall Meeting 
August 13, 2012    
The movie theatre needn't be a violent place.
Please join us on Monday, August 13, at 7pm for a Town Hall Meeting on the issues of movies and violence at Facets, 1517 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614.

Please RSVP by clicking the link below.  You can also contact event coordinator Mary Hayes at or at (773) 281-9075 ext. 3076.

The discussion will begin with a distinguished panel moderated by Gretchen Helfrich, host of WBEZ's Odyssey program.

As a non-profit organization with a 37-year commitment to creative children's programming, we strongly feel that a national debate about the culture of violence needs to lead to positive solutions. The tragic event in Colorado makes immediate action essential.

We look forward to having you join us on August 13th.  RSVP   
Facets Film Fun
August 2 - August 16 
Pretty much like the regular Olympics, only YOU decide who gets the gold!

In the spirit of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, we at Facets are hosting some games of our own. Today and next Monday we will post 3 competing movie titles and their trailers on our Facebook page for your viewing and judging pleasure. Also, you can compete directly for Olympic Glory by sponsoring your favorite film to be the "Phelps of the Film World", for our Closing Ceremony, which will at long last definitively determine the top three films ever made (professional film critics and list-makers, start looking for a new day job). Check out Facets Facebook page or click here for more info:  More Info

This Week's Recommended Rentals:  
Mars Attacks!    

As America follows the adventures of the latest craft to explore Mars, Facets digs into the red planet on film. Well, sort of.
Watch out for Martians!


Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)
Daniel Defoe's castaway adventure novel reworked into a masterful sci-fi flick that boasts great special effects, sprawling Techniscope lensing, and piercing Technicolor footage of the Death Valley locations.  

Aelita: Queen of Mars (1924)
A Moscow engineer designs a spaceship and travels to Mars to meet the woman who haunts his dreams. He succeeds but finds himself embroiled in a Martian proletarian uprising.. 

Christmas on Mars (2008)  
The frontman of The Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne, takes to directing with this experimental sci-fi freak-out about the first space station on Mars preparing for the first Martian baby to be born during the first Martian holiday.

Visit our rentals website for these selections and more. 

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