choreography: Mark Franko

music: Bizet, Ravel, Marais, Sorabji, Verdi, Gluck, Anonymous 4th century BC

costumes: Mark Franko and Juliet Neidish

dancers: five

running time: one hour

Most people think opera conveys larger-than-life emotions, and that singing is the ultimate release. Is not that exquisite movement of the voice a model for bodily movement and expression, too?" In Operratics dancers emulate operatic voices in an attempt to reach physically an impossible level of vocal effusiveness and resonance. The ballet is divided into four sections: "Opera Going (the joys of spectatorship)", "Arias (as if in private)," "Wandering in Intermission (without an object of desire)," and "The Final Act (moved by the music).


"Operratics shows that nuanced, musical modern dance is still an excellent vehicle for telling stories and expressing an intricacy of emotions. This tale of five opera-goers who get taken over by feelings of an operatic scope as they view the opera and parade at intermission both satirizes and indulges those internalizations. It seeks to capture that part of each spectator which is susceptible to the lushest music and ripest characterizations. At its climactic heart Franko very skillfully uses the spiraling heat of Ravel's Bolero to unlock the passions of the wariest opera-goers... The clever way that Franko uses the trajectory of Bolero makes Ravel's greatest hit seem as fresh and engrossing as it can be at its best."
- Susanna Sloat, Attitude

"Operratics calls into question what we get from all forms of art and whether our cultural obsessions are not, in fact, unfulfilled infantile longings. But Franko leaves that question unanswered and even manages to suggest that the deepest appeal of opera may be to our need for some sort of grandeur -- large scale noble style -- in modern life. . . Juliet Neidish emerged as Novantiqua's reigning diva by glorying in every demented facet of the satire from first to last."
- Lewis Segal, Los Angeles Times


For booking information,
contact Mark Franko by
or in San Francisco at 1033 Stanyan Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
or in New York at 35 West 92nd Street, 7D, New York, N.Y. 10025.

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Last Updated 6/99 by
Mary Keelin

UCSC - Division of the Arts