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Funding to create a mechanical/electrical stage device which grows throughout the production from a AC MOTOR into a TESLA COIL.
Funding to create a mechanical/electrical stage device which grows throughout the production from a AC MOTOR into a TESLA COIL.
Funding to create a mechanical/electrical stage device which grows throughout the production from a AC MOTOR into a TESLA COIL.
22 backers pledged $5,291 to help bring this project to life.

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TESLA, a multidisciplinary opera

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"TESLA" THE IMMIGRANT WHO CHANGED OUR WORLD

SoBe Arts in partnership with The Colony Theater is producing the World Premiere of TESLA, a multidisciplinary opera about the exceptional life, brilliant inventions and futuristic explorations of Nikola Tesla.

The Colony Theater - Miami Beach
The Colony Theater - Miami Beach

  We need your help to make sure Tesla's grand vision to liberate nature’s energy and create a path to an environmentally clean future is illuminated with music, unique set and costume designs, carefully mapped digital animations, mechanical electrical stage devices, and poetic storytelling.  

We believe this production will help bring into focus Tesla's tragic sacrifices and, through the emotional juggernaut of his story, will contribute to raising the awareness of the dangers of living unsustainably as Tesla predicted over a century ago. To meet these goals the work will receive a "live" world premiere and the production will be professionally recorded, videotaped and edited for worldwide distribution.  

Tesla's radical visions of scientific potential and capitalist reform, which led to his rise as well as his downfall, resonate even more powerfully in the 21st century. There are two primary goals of our project as we are increasingly drawn to the parallels between humanity, culture and environmental sustainability. It is this conflict that is at the heart of our motivation to tell the tragic and inspirational real-life story of Nikola Tesla, one vastly more captivating than that of any epic protagonist. Tesla's prophetic work framed the worlds portrayed in science fiction and also formed the foundation for modern-day wireless energy transfer, wireless communications, laser beams, neon and fluorescent lighting, radio transmission, remote control and robotics.

The creative team from "Fairy Tales, Songs of the Dandelion Woman" and "Intelligent Systems, the surrender of self in mystical contemplation" will be taking their collaborative work into a new level for "TESLA" by, not only presenting extraordinary mapped animated projections, unique set designs and costuming, but will include an amazing physical mechanical-electrical recreation of Nikola Tesla’s Polyphase AC motor which grows and develops throughout the evening and finally becomes an electrically charged Tesla Coil during the infamous Colorado Lab scene “Sex and Electricity”

Over the last two years we have, with considerable effort, been able to raise about 80% of the funding needed for the premiere of TESLA. We are still in need of raising the last 20% of the funding to finally make this much-delayed world premiere a reality and truly need your help!  Please make a secure tax-deductible donation of any size. We need this final bit of funding by May 31 to allow us to guarantee the September premiere. If the funding is not raised by June we will not have time to prepare for the September premiere in which case we will have to return most current funding by terms of the grant awards. Current funding comes from state, county and city grants as well as private foundations and a few individual contributions from longtime supporters. However, with your help we shall prevail, of this we are certain.

The funding raised on Kickstarter will specifically go to create the mechanical-electrical staged realization of a Poly-phase Alternating Current motor which is built upon (like a totem pole) and developed throughout the evening to ultimately becomes a real electrically charged Tesla Coil!  If we are so fortunate as to receive additional funding beyond our goal, you can be sure it will be used to hire our creative staff, professional vocalists & musicians and enhance the creation of sets, costumes, projections and videography and of course more funding for marketing to make sure we sell out all live performances

Please make your donation today and together we can insure that the telling of TESLA vision, and this beautiful opera, is finally realized!

Albert Einstein on Nikola Tesla
Albert Einstein on Nikola Tesla

THOMAS BABE, CO-LIBRETTIST

"Tesla" Co-Script writer Thomas Babe was one of a group of 70s US playwrights who laid the ground for the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Aaron Sorkin. Like David Mamet and Sam Shepard, his plays contain half-crazed but intelligent, articulate characters. Darker passions of the human soul feature strongly Mr. Babe's writing first came to widespread attention in 1975, when his play Kid Champion, with Christopher Walken as a physically and emotionally broken rock star, bowed at the Public. Mr. Babe's plays were often populated by mythic figures from history. Fathers and Sons, for instance, featured Wild Bill Hickok. (The play was later the basis of a 1995 Walter Hill film starring Jeff Bridges, the screenplay for which Mr. Babe co-wrote.) And Salt Lake City Skyline concerned Joe Hill. A then-unfamous John Lithgow played the labor leader. 

Thomas Babe's cast for "Taken in Marriage" at the Public Theater
Thomas Babe's cast for "Taken in Marriage" at the Public Theater
Mr. Babe's work rarely lacked for top acting talent like John Lithgow and Walken. A Prayer for My Daughter, set in a police station, starred the solid foursome of Jeffrey DeMunn, George Dzundza, Laurence Luckinbill and Alan Rosenberg. Rebel Women featured Mandy Patinkin and Peter Weller. And the cast of Buried Inside Extra—a rare play directed by Joe Papp himself — included Hal Holbrook, Dixie Carter, Vincent Gardenia and Sandy Dennis. Taken in Marriage, the women of a well-off New York family are gathered in the basement of a New Hampshire church for a wedding rehearsal starred Dixie Carter, Colleen Dewhurst, Kathleen Quinlan and Meryl Streep.

CARSON KIEVMAN, COMPOSER & CO-LIBRETTIST  

For decades, Carson Kievman's work follows an independent course that blends new music with the theatrical, visual and literary arts. His symphonies, operas, chamber music, music theater and experimental works have been performed internationally in stage, concert, dance, and museum settings, from SoBe Arts to the Berkeley Art Museum; Ysbreker (Amsterdam), the Pennsylvania Ballet (Philadelphia), The Public Theater (New York City), the Rote Fabrik (Zurich), the Tanglewood Music Festival (Lenox), and the Nationaltheater Mannheim (Germany). His works have been broadcast by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC); Nord Deutsche Rundfunk, Berlin; Radio France, Paris; National Public Radio (NPR), and other media outlets worldwide.

 Carson Kievman’s work in opera has been informed by a lifetime working in music and theater. He started composing at age 16 and directing for the stage at the age of 19. Kievman has created 23 multimedia music-theater works, including 7 full length stage works, such as California Mystery Park, Hamlet, Tesla and Intelligent Systems (commissioned by a fellowship from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Donaueschingen Music Festival, Germany). 

Symphony No. 2(42) CD New Albion Records (Naxos)
Symphony No. 2(42) CD New Albion Records (Naxos)

Kievman has created various large scale orchestral works, including Symphony No. 2(42) (1991), Symphony No. 3 (hurricane) (1995), Symphony No. 4 (biodiversity) (1998), Symphony No. 5 (2010) and Symphony No. 6 (no man’s land) (2014). Symphony No. 2(42) was commissioned by the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra to honor the 200th anniversary of Mozart's death, recorded in 1996 by the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra-Katowice, and the Polish Radio Choir of Krakow, Delta David Gier, conductor, and released on New Albion Records. The recording was selected by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times as one of the Top Classical CDs of the year and received radiant notices including, “Original in its outrageous flights of fancy” (Los Angeles Times), “A truly original and artistically sensitive work" (All Music Guide) and "It provides one of the most powerful musical experiences I have had in recent times." (Spoleto Today). 

JEFFREY MARC BUCHMAN, STAGE DIRECTOR

Opera News calls director Jeffrey Marc Buchman "a formidable talent.”, and the South Florida Classical Review claims "Buchman has mastered an art beyond the powers of many directors". Following enormous success directing the premiere of Madama Butterfly for the National Theater in Managua, Nicaragua, Mr. Buchman returned to create a critically acclaimed production of La Bohéme.  

This season, he mounts a new production of Don Giovanni for the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Don Pasquale for Opera Naples, Carmen for Indiana University, Il barbiere di Siviglia for Lyric Opera Baltimore, a double-bill of Stravinsky's Mavra with Ainadamar, by Osvaldo Golijov, Magic Flute for the Brevard Music Festival and La Traviata for the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The 2014-2015 season saw Buchman create productions of L'elisir d'amore for Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music's summer program, La boheme for Indiana University, Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi for Intermountain Opera and the University of Miami, Lo speziale for New World School of the Arts, Manon Lescaut for Mobile Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia for Syracuse Opera, Don Giovanni for the Miami Summer Music Festival, Cosi fan Tutte for the Brevard Music Festival and the World-premiere of Carson Kievman's Pulitzer Prize-nominated multimedia opera Intelligent Systems, which the South Florida press named one of the "Most Innovative Productions of 2015". He was also Artistic Director and creator of the ground-breaking arena event entitled LiveArts, which drew together over 1500 performers, including the Grand Rapids Symphony, Ballet, Opera and Broadway.  

Image from premiere of "Fairy Tales, Songs of the Dandelion Woman"
Image from premiere of "Fairy Tales, Songs of the Dandelion Woman"

Risks and challenges

Of course there are always risks and challenges to any artistic project, especially a main stage multimedia opera with its many details and challenges. However, Mystery Park Arts Company (d/b/a SoBe Arts) is in its 28th years of producing recordings, concerts, workshops and stage productions. And, in the last five years, we have overcome all obstacles to produce a major new workshop of "HAMLET" opera (originally commissioned and work-shopped by Joseph Papp for the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival) and two fully staged multimedia operas (see video clips above): "Intelligent Systems" (commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Donaueschingen Music Festival) as well as "Fairy Tales" (originally work-shopped at the National-Theater Mannheim and Princeton University). Were there challenges? Yes, there were many hurtles to overcome, but SoBe Arts overcame every challenge it faced and there is no reason to believe we will not succeed with the world premiere of TESLA (which was originally work-shopped at the New York City Opera Vox Festival).

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Friends of TESLA

    You will help bring this new American opera to life and be part of the worldwide effort to renew Nikola Tesla's reputation as one of the worlds greatest geniuses. You will also contribute to a continuing awareness of Nikola Tesla's brilliant alternative to the dangers of continuing mass consumption of fossil fuels. You will also be the first to receive project updates and press & media coverage

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    Good Friends of TESLA

    All the above + a special MP3 link to the recording from the live production.

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    Very Good Friends of TESLA

    All the above + a shout out in social media + a special thanks in the printed program.

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    Great Friends of TESLA

    All the above + a CD of one of Carson Kievman's recordings (your choice of either Symphony No. 2(42), Symphony No. 3 (Hurricane) or The Temporary & Tentative Extended Piano).

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    Very Great Friends of TESLA

    All the above + two tickets to a performance of TESLA at the Colony Theater Miami Beach on either September 29 or October 1 (your choice) [Travel not included] or one of the first copies of the DVD of the production when released.

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    Wonderful Friends of TESLA

    All of the above + VIP seating upgrade (seating in front) to the opening night gala performance of TESLA on September 28 (or Sept. 30) and an invite to the Cast Party, October 1, 2017.

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    Amazing Friends of TESLA

    All of the above + an autographed DVD of the production video (no shipping costs).

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    Truly Amazing Friends of TESLA

    All of the above + upgrade to 4 VIP tickets to opening night.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Fantastic Friends of TESLA

    All of the above + Special thanks in the program as a major door + Complimentary lunch or dinner for two on Lincoln Road, Miami Beach with two spectacular singers from the TESLA cast.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Super Fantastic Friends of TESLA

    All of the above + instead of lunch/dinner you will be invited to an Exclusive Party with Composer Carson Kievman, Stage Director Jeffrey Marc Buchman, Choreographer Rosa Mercedes and our entire acclaimed cast.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Best Friends of TESLA

    All of the above + a free weekend (Thursday -
    Saturday) for two at a beautiful Oceanside Hotel in South Beach (close to the theater) (food and travel not included) + 6 VIP tickets to opening night.

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    TESLA'S FAMILY

    All of the above + be immortalized in the DVD liner notes and in the program Co-Sponsor + 8 VIP tickets to opening night + open invitation to attend any tech or dress rehearsal and socialize with the create team and cast members.

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Funding period

- (24 days)