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December 10, 2013

The Fairmount Water Works Hosts Mini-Opera Tributaries: A Modern Cantada In The Empty Kelly Swimming Pool This Saturday, December 14

This Saturday, the historic -- now empty -- swimming pool at the Fairmount Water Works hosts a modern mini-opera produced by Will Blair, Brooke Blair and Craig Hendrix (left to right). (Photo by Tirzah Blair)

In the midst of city-wide holiday happenings, take a two-hour departure from the season’s ubiquitous carols, sugarplums and snowflakes with a contemporary piece of performance.

This Saturday, December 14, the Fairmount Water Works activates the historic Kelly Pool with Tributaries: A Modern Cantada, a mini-opera produced by the Agave Opera Company and Blair Brothers Music.

From 4 to 6 p.m., the site-specific production is set to transport its audience with a multi-media musical production that explores how water shapes our lives.

Conceived by composer and conductor Craig Hendrix, founder of The Agave Opera Company, with film composers Brooke and Will Blair, the score is divided into four sections highlighting three of Eastern Pennsylvania’s many tributaries, each of which converge into the Schuylkill River.

Closed after Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and opened briefly for the 2013 Hidden City Philadelphia festival, the Kelly Pool serves as a dramatic setting for this one-day-only performance.

Audiences will actually sit in the empty lanes of the historic pool while three singers and a live orchestra perform against the historic backdrop with rippling, blue lights creating an immersive atmosphere.

Part of the Fairmount Water Works Culture and Converation series, quarterly programs that mix the arts and sciences, the show provides an opportunity to peek inside a space that’s not regularly open to the public, as well as a chance to learn more about the Water Works Interpretive Center, which is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

Tickets are available online, and include one drink and the opening act, The Silver Ages, a men’s vocal ensemble.

Seats to this unconventional show are selling out quickly, so jump on the chance to check out what promises to be a unique experience.

Tributaries: A Modern Cantada
When: Saturday, December 14, 4-6 p.m.
Where: Kelly Pool at the Water Works, 640 WaterWorks Drive
Cost: $15-$120
More info: www.fairmountworks.com

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John Eight Thirty-Two says:

Not to be a nitpicker, but it’s “A Modern Cantata”, with a T, not a D. (“Cantata”, like a lot of music-vocabulary words, comes from the Italian language. You folks seem to have been thinking of Spanish.)

Well, OK. To be a nitpicker.