philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


In ‘The Hubble Cantata,’ opera blasts into the world of virtual reality

la-1507586978-44h34xh0lb-snap-imageMcNitt’s VR experience is the metaphorical tail on the multimedia comet that is classical composer Paola Prestini’s “The Hubble Cantata,” which swept up that huge audience in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park last summer and stages its West Coast premiere Wednesday at the Ford Theatres in Hollywood. Presented in association with Los Angeles Opera, the show features soprano Jessica Rivera and baritone Nathan Gunn singing a libretto by Royce Vavrek. Members of the L.A. Opera Orchestra, L.A. Opera Chorus and Los Angeles Children’s Chorus are also part of the production.

“What is so exciting about this project was being able to bring a new perspective to an art form that has existed for so long in order to provide a new way of experiencing it,” McNitt said by phone from New York. “I think storytelling is at the heart of all these experiences. We are trying to leave people with a sense of wonder and awe.”

Using real footage from the telescope, McNitt crafted a film that took scientific theories grounded in hard data and interpreted them through an artistic lens, making sure to consider crucial points of interest including the color of a star when it is born and what solar flares look like when they’re circling off the body of a star.

‘The Hubble Cantata’

Where: Ford Theatres, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood

When: 8 p.m. Wednesday

Tickets: Start at $65 (subject to change)

Info: (323) 461-3673,

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