[opera captions]

MAY 26

CAPTIONS [firm voice]: For a long, I’ve been in the background. Now it’s time for me to show up.

What if captions ‘step up,’ ‘speak with’ you, and ‘tell’ you about their stories? Will you listen to them?

[opera captions] focuses on captions that bring together accessibility, inner and imagined voices, and improvisation. A semi-fiction, semi-translation, semi-poetry, semi-film, semi-music, and semi-theater performance, [opera captions] reimagines what captions can do beyond functioning as a speech conveyor and a sound interpreter in audiovisual media. This live experience features captions as “an actor” interacting with and personified by bodily-diverse human beings: a collective of New York composer-performers thingNY and wonderful viewers-audiences. [opera captions] invites you to celebrate the lives of captions that have been both cherished and hated.

Accessibility/things to anticipate:

  • Captions will be the main performance elements. They will also be audible.

  • There is no sound amplification, and the overall loudness will be moderate.

  • A very small part of the performance features profanity.


[opera captions] is made possible by the support of The MAP Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, and Mellon Foundation, and SubletSeries@HERE.

Creator, director, writer, and composer – Jay Afrisando

Performer – thingNY (Gelsey Bell, Andrew Livingston, Erin Rogers, Dave Ruders, Jeffrey Young)

Lighting Designer – Christina Tang

Project Manager – Terry Perdanawati

Graphic designer – Jay Afrisando

Original photo – kinsum

Jay Afrisando is an Indonesian composer, multimedia artist, researcher, and educator. He works on aural diversity, acoustic ecology, and cultural identity through multisensory and antidisciplinary practices. His works include the 5-channel film installation In Which to Trust? (2022) and the spatial composition Ungklang-Angklung (2019), among others. Collaborating with various artists and culture bearers, he has presented works in various scenes and places, including Sound Scene at Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Walker Art Center’s Virtual Cinema, ARGOS Projector: The Faraway Nearby, and Aural Diversity Conference. He has been awarded the MAP Fund 2022 and the Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship 2021-22.

thingNY is a collective of composer-performers who fuse electronic and acoustic chamber music with new opera, improvisation, theater, text, song and installation. Founded in 2006, thingNY performs experimental works created by the core ensemble – alejandro t. acierto, Gelsey Bell, Isabel Castellvi, Andrew Livingston, Paul Pinto, Erin Rogers, Dave Ruder, and Jeffrey Young – and by adventurous composers such as Jennifer Walshe, Robert Ashley, Rick Burkhardt, Pauline Oliveros, Joseph White, and Julius Eastman. Past works by thingNY include: SubtracTTTTTTTTT, This Takes Place Close By, Time: A Complete Explanation in Three Parts (with Panoply Performance Lab), Dear Nancine, and ADDDDDDDDD. Recently thingNY released the album Passover on Innova Recordings. 

Updated: March 8, 2023

HERE is now a mask-optional space. All patrons attending HERE performances and events will no longer be required to wear masks.

We ask all audience members to please stay home if they have a sore throat, are feeling sick in any other way, or have been recently exposed to COVID-19, and to please contact the box office for refunds or exchanges.

All of our performers, technicians, and staff members are required to be fully vaccinated and masked unless they are onstage performing. Additionally, they are participating in an active testing regimen to keep everyone as safe as possible.

HERE reserves the right to revise protocols as the rate of transmission changes and in light of new scientific data that may present itself.

May 26, 7PM

We want everyone to have access to groundbreaking art. There are ten tickets priced at $10 available for each performance on a first come, first served basis.

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