We’re not giving you
puzzles to solve…
only pictures to hear

you go to this opera
like you go to a museum.

—Robert Wilson

The Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and Leslie B. Durst present Monsters of Grace: A Digital Opera in Three Dimensions.

Monsters of Grace is a multi-media marriage of art and technology through which Robert Wilson has extended his exploration of visual design to include three-dimensional, digital animation. There are no actors on stage; instead “the cast” is comprised of Synthespians[TM], life-like, three-dimensional, computer-generated characters created by Kleiser-Walczak Construction Company that are projected onto a large screen via 70mm stereoscopic film.

With the aid of 3-D glasses, the boundaries of the stage are radically expanded, so that objects can appear to be within several feet of the audience or extend as far back as infinity.

The musical structure of Monsters of Grace more closely resembles a song-cycle than that of a traditional opera. It consists of thirteen animated scenes accompanied by a full-length score performed live by Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble with vocal soloists. The libretto, which is sung in English, is taken from the writings of the 13th century poet and mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi, considered to be the original whirling dervish.

“Over the last three years Bob Wilson and I have been meeting to develop this new theatre piece and addressing the challenge of a new technology and its impact on a developing artistic view,” said Glass. “It is fair to say that as an ongoing process, Monsters of Grace is still fluid, elusive and for us, full of surprise.”

Tickets for Monsters of Grace are $31.50 general admission; $26.50 for PICA members and can be purchased at PICA, the PICA Annex, Jackpot Records, Clinton Street Video, the POVA Visitor Information Center and the Portland Center for the Performing Arts box office, or by calling 503/242-1419.

PICA will also host a benefit reception in honor of composer Philip Glass, patron Leslie B. Durst and producer Jedediah Wheeler, on Wednesday, April 7 at 8 p.m. on the mezzanine level of The Heathman Hotel. Tickets are $100 per person and may be purchased in advance through PICA.

A portion of the ticket price is tax deductible and all proceeds will benefit the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. The reception is sponsored by The Heathman Hotel and The Heathman Restaurant, with additional support from Full Sail Brewing Company.

Monsters of Grace was co-commissioned by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art through the generosity of Leslie B. Durst and is sponsored in Portland by AT&T and The Oregonian.