Sen-so-rium refers to:
1. The parts of the brain or the mind concerned with the reception and interpretation of sensory stimuli; broadly: the entire sensory apparatus.
2. Constantly changing realm of the senses
Sensorium Ex: Everything She Knows She Knows By Heart.
An opera exploring and exploding notions of how humans–with particular histories, gifts, and abilities–perceive and understand the world. Inspired by Chad Foster, a businessman whose blindness from macular degeneration is only part of the beginning of his story, Sensorium Ex challenges the assumptions that disability is, by definition, loss.
A group of scientists gather around Sophia, their newest robotic invention whose sight reads minds. Each has come to the table for different reasons, which unravel as we eavesdrop on intertwined characters whose narratives morph and migrate like all stories of our lives: in a mysterious and unstable mix of perception, memory, reason and emotion. The truth of who we are is ever in flux, yet it persists in love, in the senses, in the depths of loss, and in human connection. The journey to the truth of ourselves may well be interior, or from soul to soul, but the distance traveled is beyond measure. As the scientists relationships to Sophia are uncovered, their own motivations for “seeing” come to light, and we come to understand her sight as a composite of their lives and dreams.
Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and Atlanta Opera, addititonal support provided by Vision Into Art, Jill and Bill Steinberg, and the American Academy in Rome. EnactLab & Hamletscenen of Copenhagen, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Lyric Theater @ Illinois. World premiere scheduled for 2024.
"The kind of experimentation Prestini has lent to her work will help “shape what masterpieces come out of the next 50 years.”
“…Prestini’s music [is] vividly shimmering and raging with the emotional temperatures of characters [...] and generally conjuring up an authentically cosmic atmosphere with its trembling strings, ethereal wind lines, and luminous glockenspiel.”
"In this as in all of her work, Prestini shows a strong compositional voice and an arresting focus in her writing: vigorous melodic lines grab the listener, supported by tart harmonies. At this point, she has to be considered a major talent.”
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