Scary Opera in VR

Opera on Tap’s The Parksville Murders sounds like a true monster mash-up of genres and technology. Episode one debuts Friday, October 20, on the Samsung VR app on Gear VR with Controller and at

Billed as “the world’s first virtual reality horror opera” and “inspired by the genre-bending horror classics from Cronenberg, Lynch and others,” The Parksville Murders takes place “in a dimly-lit kill room in the Catskills…standing amidst a group of mysterious, hooded ‘watchers’ as they gaze upon two terrified young women, one paralyzed, lying in a bathtub full of dead leaves.”

Directed by Cari Ann Shim Sham and shot at Beaverkill Studio in New York’s Catskills, The Parksville Murders features music by Kamala Sankaram and a libretto by Jerre Dye.

For Sankaram, the marriage of opera and horror makes perfect sense.

“Opera has had a problematic relationship with its female characters  in general,” said Sankaram. “If you’re powerful, you must die and/or go crazy at the end. Horror works under a similarly stringent set of rules — behave or you will die — so, an operatic horror movie is the perfect medium to address these issues.”

Sankaram’s music is described as “largely diegetic, consisting of sounds ranging from sharpening knives to TV static to footsteps.”

Light Sail VR is handling the VR production. In addition, omnidirectional sound design by Hear360 will create a 3-D audio experience for Kamala’s composition, changing the soundscape depending on where the viewer is looking.

The Parksville Murders is being produced by Shim Sham, Opera On Tap’s Anne Hiatt, and former Blue Man Group creative director Todd Perlmutter.

The first episode stars Kacey Cardin as Corinne, Mikki Sodergren as Sarah, and includes ensemble members of Opera on Tap’s New Brew series.

For more information, visit The Parksville Murders.

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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