Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas

Site-Responsive Work
hiking singers, water percussionists

“... musical effects both dramatic and delicate.” Gavin Borchert, Seattle Weekly

Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas are musical miniatures available as live performances in water and a sound/light installation. Hiking singers and percussionists performed 64 Bottled Operas in lakes, fountains, and other waterways throughout the Northwest in 2008.

Video Excerpt

Creative Team
Byron Au Yong, composer
Randy Moss, media artist for installation
Aaron Jafferis, Caroline Murphy, Eugenie Chan, Edisa Weeks, Bret Fetzer, Archana Kumar, Vivian Umino, Carola Luther, librettists
Pike Pin, project manager
Tom Stiles & CJ Lazenby, audio engineers
Emily Carlsen, costumes
Jean-Stephane & Eric Rockey, videographers
2008 Performers
Betsy Baeskens, Josie Davis, Emily Greenleaf, Jeremiah Oliver, David Stutz, singers
Stuart McLeod, Dean Moore, Benjamin Morrow, James Whetzel, percussionists
Audio Interviews
Jack Straw Productions

KUOW Sound Focus (0:28-13:13)

Installation Video

2011 Seattle Symphony Day of Music
2011 Staging Sustainability Conference, Toronto
2010 May Day! May Day! Town Hall Seattle
2008 Jack Straw New Media Gallery
2008 Bumbershoot Festival of the Arts
2008 4Culture Site-Specific Arts

Audio Recording
64 Libretti
NPR/KUOW Interview
MAP Fund

Press Quotes
“... exquisite darkness... whimsical lines... captivating experience.”
Christopher DeLaurenti, The Stranger 
“Au Yong deploys the repetition in these travels as a way to create the physical musical rituals that fill Kidnapping Water.... He also aims to use ritual to challenge the structure of American society.”
Roxanne Ray, International Examiner (PDF
“... maybe this is your weekend to doggie-paddle in water opera.”
Katelyn Hackett, Seattlest 
“Byron Au Yong’s Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas got my mind racing through the possibilities of performance without a performance space.”
Zach Carstensen, The Gathering Note

Read in-depth preview by Gavin Borchert in the Seattle Weekly