Watt’s up this weekend

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Chris Vecchio, Philadelphia artist and electronics whiz sent us this bulletin about the debut performance this weekend of Miriam Seidel’s opera “Violet Fire,” a multi-media piece about Nikola Tesla, the Yugoslav-born inventor with more than 700 patents to his name. The press material says he should have been as famous as Edison, but he died in obscurity in 1943. Sounds like an opera to me.

Seidel, a local artist, writer and critic is the librettist. You’ve seen her byline in Art in America and in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Seidel asked Vecchio in as a technical consultant on the project and he says he’s made a few “electrified props” for the show’s set. (I do believe the mesmerizing gizmo above one of them in action.) In addition to Vecchio’s props, the opera includes live music by Relache, and video pieces by Sarah Drury and Jen Simmons, including voice-activated video projections with a stream of imagery relating to Tesla’s life.

The opera’s music is by minimalist composer Jon Gibson, a senior member of the Philip Glass Ensemble.

Performance is this Friday and Saturday only, February 13 and14, at 8 p.m. at Temple’s Tomlinson Theater, 1301 W. Norris Street.

Tickets are $20 ($10 for students). For tickets call the Temple University Box Office: 215-204-1122 or for more info violet fire opera.

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