Award of Merit – “THE WEB OPERA” (USA)

Runtime: 12 min
Country: USA 
Director: Kate Jopson
Placement: Award of Merit
Competition: June, 2019

Synopsis: For THE WEB OPERA, composer Michael Roth assembled a team of progressive artists to create something completely new, an opera of the current moment based on true events, to be presented online and mirror its own online universe. Composer Randy Newman calls THE WEB OPERA “a great 21st century opera … an important story told very very well.” 

THE WEB OPERA tells of a group of college freshmen and the invasion of privacy that forever changes a young man’s life. Through-composed and sung, filmed as if seen via a laptop, iPhone, or iPad, this story about violation of privacy compels the viewer to violate the privacy of the characters themselves while viewing. THE WEB OPERA, most importantly, encourages and supports via its website suicide prevention and the fight against cyber abuse.

Watch THE WEB OPERA now –

More detailed synopsis (containing spoilers): in Episode One, a college freshman (FG97 – all characters are referred to by e-mail addresses) is installing software for his webcam when he receives a message from his new roommate, Violinist98. He googles his roommate, gathering more info online, all the while communicating about it with his friend June99.

In Episode Two, Violinist98 is practicing violin and, distracted, he seeks solace online from a forum; he receives a friend request from Bookstore90, a man he’d met the day before, and arranges a date with him for the next night. He informs FG97 via text that he’ll need the room.

In Episode Three, FG97 visits his friend June99 during Violinist98’s date. Via his webcam, hoping to have a look at Bookstore90, whom FG97 finds suspicious, they have a quick look at the date and discuss this with June’s roommate and two of her friends. Eventually, having looked, FG97 informs others online about it in a tweet that Violinist98 reads later that evening – as he stares at the webcam.

As of 6/28/19, THE WEB OPERA has been designated an official selection for the upcoming WEB SERIES FESTIVAL GLOBAL (details TBD), has been honored with an Award of Excellence for Original Concept from the SHORT, TIGHT & LOOSE GLOBAL FILM FESTIVAL COMPETITION and an Award of Merit in the BEST SHORTS COMPETITION; and is an online presentation of the LIFT-OFF GLOBAL NETWORK ONLINE FESTIVAL in New York.