About the Grant

$15,000 to support an original rock opera (MAP 2004) by songwriter/musician Daniel Johnston.

About the Project

Houston’s leading experimental theater company Infernal Bridegroom Productions and Austin-based singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston began discussing the possibility of a joint project a year ago, when Johnston performed a set at IBP’s home base, a music venue/art gallery/performance space on Houston’s East side called the Axiom.

The match seemed perfect, as both Johnston and IBP are known for carving out their own niches in the Texas art world. Johnston has fought against mental illness to create compelling music and visual art that has earned him a worldwide audience, and he’s been hoping to write a rock opera for several years.

While primarily known for creating powerful original works and revisiting avant-garde classics, IBP has put a twist on the musical as well. In 2002 the company had a sell-out run of The Kinks’s rarely produced rock opera A Soap Opera. IBP has also produced several original musicals in its 11-year history, including the smash hit Tamalalia series.

Johnston will draw upon some of his existing work for the opera, with about half the songs being previously produced pieces and the other half written for the production. The piece will be performed by IBP’s resident company and orchestra, and like all of Johnston’s work it will draw on the day-to day fare that fills all of his music – unrequited love, pop figures, Captain America and the like.

IBP’s artistic director Anthony Barilla will be the production’s musical director. Johnston will begin writing songs and creating the piece in October of 2004 with the piece debuting in the winter of 2005. All performances will take place at the Axiom in Houston.

Related Websites

Infernal Bridegroom Productions
Infernal Bridegroom Productions
Infernal Bridegroom Productions

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