Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company


“The Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company was a poetic sacred folk theater group created, written and directed by poet Daniel Moore. The opera company was based in North Berkeley, California, from around 1966 to sometime in 1969, and for three years presented two major musical ritual dramas, The Walls Are Running Blood, and Bliss Apocalypse. The cast, crew and orchestra members were primarily enthusiastic amateurs, many originally painters or artists in other mediums who were intrigued with the vision of The Floating Lotus and eager to participate in what was a celebration and expression of the tribal consciousness ‘in the air’ in Berkeley, California at that very explosive and expressive time. Often, however, the orchestra in particular was graced with actual musicians of some stature, such as poet and musician Angus MacLise (formerly of the Velvet Underground), poet, musician and translator Louise Landes Levi, light-artist and musician Daniel Conrad, writer and musician Marc Allen and others. Internationally famous composer Terry Riley occasionally played his erhu with the orchestra and provided some musical direction, as did Ramon Sender, who spent some time coaching the players and dancers as well. Many members came and went, playing for a while in the orchestra or acting in the dramas, and many have continued to pursue spiritual paths, artistic endeavors or other successful and adventurous routes unaccountable in this short recollection. The impetus and inspiration for the theater company was: Zen Buddhism, which Moore and others of the company were studying at the time; the very vivid and public poetry of the time, by poets such as Allen Ginsberg, and its application to open-air ritual theater, as theorized by Antonin Artaud; the music and dance of folk theater, such as Balinese Gamelan rituals, Tibetan monastery rituals, Kathakali of India, etc. and the general wild imagination of the era. Initial poetic ‘scripts’ were written by Moore, with changes, inclusions or deletions, as the members of the Opera Company began rehearsing, trying different things in the kaleidoscope of states we were in at the time,though the final arbiter of changes (usually negotiable) was always left to Moore. The intention underlying both of the productions was the transformation of evil and dark energies, such as were driving the Vietnam War, into positive and light energies, through a cathartic initiation, which the central hero had to undergo in both operas. …”
Wikipedia
Rolling Stone: The Lotus & The Toad
The Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company

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This entry was posted in Allen Ginsberg, Counterculture, Hippie, Music, Poetry, Religion, Street theater, Vietnam War and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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