MTNow Archive Search

MTN provides detailed information on various projects from the 2015 competition. Further material (like artist CVs) and videos are accessible only in Berlin in the MIME Centre media library.

Editions from 2008 and 2012 are envisaged to be included in the near future.


You can quickly sort the projects by categories: click the top column in order to sort by title, language, genre etc. or search for keywords that are part of the description of the categories in the overview.


A full-text search can be conducted here: FULL-TEXT SEARCH


Get more information about a specific project by clicking the column.

Invisible Cities
Duration in minutes:
Total number of performers:
> 20
Theatrical form (Opera, Performance, Instrumental Theatre, Other):
Stage form:
Public Space, Moving Audience

Project description:
Imagine arriving at a train station and discovering a man singing beautifully to himself. But what if he were singing to 200 people all over the station who were listening to him, seven other singers, and a live orchestra via wireless headphones? That’s the concept behind Invisible Cities, an immersive opera experience, first premiered in Los Angles at the historic Union Station in 2013. Invisible Cities, presented by The Industry in partnership with the LA Dance Project allowed the audience to roam freely through an operating train station, pursuing individual characters or creating their own story. Set in LA's historic Union Station, the audience experienced the live performance via top-of-the-line Sennheiser wireless headphones with crystal-clear sound technology, surrounded by the uninterrupted everyday life of the station. Based on Italo Calvino’s beloved novel and hauntingly set by composer Christopher Cerrone, Invisible Cities is a 70-minute meditation on urban life, memory, and human connection. Director Yuval Sharon’s concept makes each audience member the protagonist of the experience in a transfigured view of everyday life. Choreographer Danielle Agami draws the audience into an uncannily intimate proximity to the LA Dance Project. Italo Calvino’s fantastical novel imagines a meeting of the emperor Kublai Khan at the end of his life with the explorer Marco Polo. Khan orders Polo to report on the cities in his empire, and Polo’s responses are flights of fancy, cities of the imagination and the mind. The opera depicts the meeting and describes three chimerical cities with a quiet stateliness that offers the audience a chance to contemplate the essence of travel, as well as our subjective experience of environment and time. The use of headphones makes this meditative experience a highly personal event for each and every spectator. Cerrone’s fragile, quiet score attempts to capture “decaying sounds” through the use of found objects as instruments and pre-recorded voices interweaving with live voices. In Yuval Sharon’s concept for an “invisible” production, all the singers will sing live in various spaces throughout the performance site, appearing and disappearing into the everyday fabric of the building. The instrumental music is a mixture of live and prerecorded performances. Invisible Cities was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music and the subject of an Emmy-winning documentary produced by KCET.
Responsible institution, ensemble or person:
Christopher Cerrone

Christopher Cerrone
Musical direction:
Marc Lowenstein
Based on text by:
Italo Calvino
Stage director:
Yuval Sharon
Costume designer:
E.B. Brooks
Danielle Agami
E. Martin Gimenez
Sarah Krainin (Properties designer)

Date of first performance:
Los Angeles
Union Station
Number of seats:
Producers; Co-Producers:
The Industry, LA Dance Project

Year of MTN:
Winning Project:
Winning Project MTN 2015
Musik Theatre Now, Musiktheater, Musikperformance, Gesang, Literaturbearbeitung
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