Steam ~ or ~ The Specters of the Knox Mill is an original new rock opera currently being produced by Liz Rishel, Sean Lenhart, Jordan Speranzo, and William Strom. It is a steampunk ghost story set in Industrial Revolution Pittsburgh, featuring new characters, an original story, and a music fusion that blends rock instrumentals with classical operatic singing. Steam will be filmed as a full-length feature and released in six installments to be viewed online.
As part of our project’s mission, we would like to promote this fascinating piece of Pittsburgh’s history and engage viewers with a desire to learn more about Pittsburgh and its significance during the Industrial Revolution. We chose the Steampunk style because it is an emerging new subculture that focuses on the industrial, and we would like to use that style to highlight Pittsburgh’s industrial heritage in a unique way.
We, the artistic staff, are devoted to opera as an art form that deserves to be preserved for its beauty and virtuosity. We believe that the art of operatic singing speaks its passion through dulcet tones that have the capacity to resonate with every human soul. That this art is frequently misunderstood as elitist is deeply troubling to us, and we wish to strip away the layers of formality and present our favorite singing in a rock band setting that is familiar and uncompromising in its quality.
By using the internet as our means of conveyance, we hope to bypass the audience limitations of geographical location, schedule availability, and ticket cost to expand our demographic to include and go beyond the local theatergoers that would support a live production. We also wish to utilize Pittsburgh’s thriving film community to create a project that engages modern film-lovers and opera devotees alike. Pittsburgh is both the perfect setting, and the perfect location for such an endeavor, because it is inhabited by outspoken consumers who laud and support diversity in the arts, from classical to contemporary. The videos will be free to view, raising the potential that they will spread and be watched by a wide demographic of audiences. We would like to implement a strategy rare to the operatic performing arts- to allow audiences the option to experience the final product and allow it to resonate emotionally before deciding if they wish to contribute any amount to the project financially. Through these means, we hold faith in both the quality of our project, and the patronage of our audience.
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