Tradition holds that operas be performed in spaces as grand as the stories they tell — ornate, gilded halls with enormous chandeliers and lofty ceilings. But the last time Rhymes With Opera visited Philly, their stage was located in the comparatively ignominious confines of a West Philly basement.
“We’re a do-it-yourself opera company,” says soprano vocalist Bonnie Lander, one of five members of the touring chamber opera company founded in 2007. “It allows us to bring new opera to people without making them pay a bunch of money to go to a fancy hall. It makes opera more public, more accessible, and helps keep the genre moving forward.”
Their venues aren’t the only untraditional aspect of Rhymes With Opera’s approach. Their latest production, “Book of Gazes,” is a multimedia rock opera composed by Jenny Olivia Johnson which combines video, voice, electronics, and music provided by Baltimore experimental hip-hop quartet Soul Cannon.
“This is intended for people who might not go to the opera traditionally,” Lander says. “It’s more for people who enjoy going to see crazy music that they’ve never seen before.”
Rhymes With Opera: ‘Book of Gazes’
Sunday, 7 p.m.
1714 N. Mascher St., $10