World’s first video game opera loads up

PermaDeath, the world’s first video game opera, will make its debut next month. Running from 27-29 September, it is hosted by the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston, MA.

In video game lingo permadeath means permanent death – your character dies and cannot be brought back to life. This forms the basis of the opera, where video game characters cross into reality and become mortal.

The opera allows audiences to take part through a phone app, available from Google Play and the App Store. Permadeath was composed by Dan Visconti, with a libretto by Cerise Lim Jacobs and her son Pirate Epstein.

Jacobs she was inspired by her son to create the opera: “I asked him one day what would make him excited about opera. He answered immediately, ‘If it could be as thrilling as the opera scene in the Fifth Element.’ I revisited that scene on YouTube and found it amazingly exciting.

“Thus, PermaDeath was born, the first interactive video game opera in which audience members download an app to participate, where chargers are provided in case your battery is low and a tutorial on how to use the app kicks off the opera.”

PermaDeath was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.