Juecheng Chen

Artistic Discipline: Music
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2020
Location: Clinton Hill

Ju-eh is a voice artist and curator based in Brooklyn. He believes in the power of classical music to speak to audiences of today. Ju-eh brings to the table a rich curating experience, amongst the projects with the biggest impact being the 2017 residency at The Hollows in Williamsburg, forming of a beatboxing band, working with scent, baroque musi,c and projection mapping on bodies. Most recently, in 2019, he created The Living Dying Opera, an original electronic music-based opera sponsored by the NY Chinese Culture Salon, presented twice at Abrons Arts Center to sold out crowds. In 2018, Ju-eh curated and performed a series of improvised opera salons at Areté Venue at Greenpoint, improvised pieces for voice, violin, electronics, and dancers.

UnOpera is designed as an ongoing project that is an open form of revising the art of opera with modern technology. The structure in place and the core team of artists allow the recreation of the project in various combinations of traditional artists and experimental artists across the globe with Brooklyn having been the birthplace of this initiative. This way, even more people can listen to western opera reproductions in various communities.

UnOpera commissions new compositions based on a specific operatic aria, rewriting, or decomposing the aria into a new composition no longer than fifteen minutes with a combination of acoustic and live processed/fixed electronic sounds. Three semi-staged performances will be hosted in three different neighborhoods in Brooklyn to showcase these new compositions, followed by Q & A sessions by the artists.

The project aims to create performances which break boundaries and which become immersive; to attract audiences to their first operatic experience and to go home with feelings; to make the art of opera more digestible, without losing its integrity, for Brooklyn audiences and to show the indie/quirky side of operas. This project also provides opportunities for composers to decompose with acoustic and electronic sounds.