by Chris Davis
Beatboxing may not be something people think about when they think about opera but Michael Ching's new a cappella take on A Midsummer Night's Dream is an unprecedented event. All traditional orchestration has been eliminated in favor of a human voicestra with Paul Koziel of DeltaCappella manning the vocal percussion. In this video Koziel teaches Ned Canty, Opera Memphis' new General Director, how to turn his mouth into a big bad beat machine.
Although he's more than able to scratch and mix in a variety of electronic sounds Koziel isn't a hip hop beatboxer. Trained in the a cappella tradition the impressive impressionist sounds like he swallowed a drum kit with double kicks. Canty, who spent more time off camera talking about the Ramones and the Pogues than he did about Mozart and Stravinsky, turned out to be an attentive and able student.