Six years ago, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs started working on an album, but she came to realize the material “was much broader than putting it out as a rock record.” The final manifestation of this introspective exercise is a psycho-opera of sorts, and the unique performance entitled, Stop the Virgens, debuts today, October 12th in DUMBO in conjunction with St. Ann’s Warehouse and The Creators Project New York .She teamed up with co-creator and production designer K.K. Barrett (who has worked on films like Where the Wild Things Are and Lost in Translation) to conceive what Karen describes as an assault on the tragic joys of youth, fever dreams drenched in visual seduction, a cathartic spell spun through a cycle of nine songs.
They weren’t quite sure how to categorize the genre-blending performance, because its narrative doesn’t flow quite like that of a musical. The effect is a lot more emotional and dramatic, closer to an opera… but then again, it’s no Carmen or La Boheme, and Karen’s bewitching cries are not those of your average sopranos. Director Adam Rapp says it’s an “autobiographical journey for her, she’s putting it all out there in that way.”
The psycho-opera, produced by The Studio, is an extremely multidisclipinary and chaotic visual treat as it combines theater with rock music, enhanced with video projections and technology. And yes, Karen’s outlandish style will be spotlighted, as her personal costume designer Christian Joy is outfitting the entire cast.
It seems to be an experience better seen than described, as fellow Yeah Yeah Yeah’s bandmate Nick Zinner says: “It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen or heard. It’s going to blow people’s minds.”
The Creators Project New York takes place October 15-16, the free event will feature musical guests The Field, Clams Casino, Florence + The Machine, Justice, Company Flow, JJ and many more. Make sure to sign up for your free ticket HERE.
UPDATE: March 2, 2012
Check out the new documentary on the production HERE.