Squonk Opera Comes to George Mason Tomorrow

Posted: October 29, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Squonk delivers a “musical frolic that’s meant to confront and shake up the senses,” according to the New York Times. Since their 1992 debut at Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, Squonk, a five-person, unconventional opera company led by artistic director Steve O’Hearn and musical director Jackie Dempsey, has been conjuring up performances filled with intense images and musical experimentation. With its evening-length production of Burn, the company embarks on its most ambitious project to date.

The Center for the Arts welcomes this company’s unique performance tomorrow at 8 p.m. An artistic discussion begins 45 minutes prior to the curtain on the Grand Tier. O’Hearn plays Celtic flute, wind synthesizer and other wind instruments, while Dempsey rules the keys on piano and accordion.

Burn,loosely based on Dante’s Inferno, is a post-apocalyptic vision, rife with technological intervention and set in the industrial wasteland of a smoldering, abandoned Centralia, Penn. coal mine. A mine fire has raged underground in Centralia since 1962. After a government buyout, the town is almost deserted, yet a few stalwarts have stayed to argue the fate of what little remains. Burn is the story of Centralia-born Don Alegurski’s journey home mirroring the journey through the nine circles of Hell in Dante’s morality tale.

Tickets range from $15 to $30. Children under 12 are admitted for half price. Charge by phone at (703) 218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com.

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