PROTEST HEAVEN 5/23: Gino Robair's Improvised Opera Company Presents "I, Norton"
05/23/2009 - 10:00pm
PROTEST HEAVEN 5/23:
GINO ROBAIR'S "I, NORTON"
Featuring participants of Gino Robair's Group Improvisation Workshop
"At the request of the citizens of these United States, I, Joshua Norton declare myself Emperor."
So began the proclamation by which Joshua Norton, on September 17, 1859, became Norton I, Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico. The first of many proclamations, it was published nearly 10 years after Norton landed in San Francisco to make his fortune from the Gold Rush. During his 20-year reign, Norton I decreed bridges be built between Oakland and San Francisco, enjoyed free passage by rail and ship, printed and used his own money, and corresponded with kings, queens, and presidents. Among the literary works to immortalize Norton I are Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Wrecker. Yet few people remember the one and only Emperor of the United States.
I, Norton was created as a kit that may be performed by any number of people and assembled in a unique way for each performance. The closest thing to a libretto are the writings attributed to Norton I, as well as mocking "false decrees" published by contemporary newspapers to cash in on the Emperor's notoriety. The words, letters, rhythms, and structure of the texts are prepared in a variety of ways and used as source material by each performer.
I, Norton has been performed in San Francisco and Oakland, California; Seattle, Washington; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Miami, Florida; St Louis, Missouri; Tokyo, Japan; and Milan and Palermo, Italy. In addition, the ROVA Saxophone Quartet has performed a reduced version of the piece across Europe and North America.
10pm, suggested donation