Uploaded on Sep 4, 2008
"Man: Biology of a Fall"
Music by Evan Hause, Libretto by Gary Heidt
Act I, Scene 3 Beginning
Performed 10/7/07 at Kumble Theater in Brooklyn, NY
Directed by Jyana S. Gregory
Conducted by Evan Hause
Sets: Rumiko Ishii
Costumes: Jessica Ford
Lights: Matthew Richards
Live (Musical) Electronics: Daniel Iglesia
ACT ONE, SCENE 3 (1 of 4)
Deep Creek Lodge. A fine lake house in rural Western Maryland. A secret meeting is underway between members of the CIA and TSS. At a point, Gottlieb has drinks served. Several of those present are dosed with LSD. Olson challenges the methods of precepts of MK-ULTRA and is rebuked. Eventually, the LSD takes hold and all are devoured by a worm.
Present (in the opera):
Five from S.O.D.
1. Lt. Col. Vincent Ruwet (David Gordon)
2. Dr. John Schwab (C. David Morrow)
3. Dr. J. Stubbs (Mark Peters)
4. Dr. Frank Olson (Steven Ebel)
5. Benjamin Wilson (Raemond Martin)
Four from TSS
1. Dr. Sidney Gottlieb (San-ky Kim)
2. Dr. Robert Lashbrook (Darren Lougee)
3. A. Hughes (John Schenkel)
4. H. Bortner (Jeffrey Mandelbaum)
Scene opens at the end of a day's meeting. They are seated at a large table.
Tularemia is highly infectious but seldom fatal;
Brucellosis lasts a long time, but mortality is low
Psittacosis, Rift Valley fever, encephalomyelitis
Q-fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever
can kill you or at least put you out for a week or so
Melioidosis is very deadly, but hard to control.
We have the plague, pneumonic and bubonic
and we're working to improve it.
We get a 90-100% kill rate
with pneumonic plague.
But like Melioidosis,
it spreads uncontrollably.
In answer to your question, Mr. Hughes,
The only thing I'd use
to target a whole population in a given area
Would be airborne anthrax bombs
90% kill rate.
In theory we could cover a third of New York State
With 250 liters of concentrated germ agent,
A cloud so thick, that everywhere
is a thousand times the lethal dose.
We have had successful battlefield trials in Korea.
Thank you, Mr. Wilson. Sidney?
Well, we're now at the bottom of the agenda.
There's one more issue to deal with,
But first I move we drink a toast.
OLSON (aside, as LASHBROOK serves the drinks.)
We meet semi-annually in secrecy at Deep Creek Lake
With Technical Services CIA men to deliberate.
Some might think my colleagues perverse.
We do disease prevention in reverse.
It's called MK-NAOMI.
GOTTLIEB (Takes off his watch and sets it on the table; he stalls for time at the beginning of the toast and then ends suddenly when he sees the second hand hit zero)
I'd like to thank you all for making MK-NAOMI a success.
It's been a huge hit in the White House, I assure you.
From the ability to assassinate without a trace
To the germs that can discriminate by race
It's widened the stage on which we operate,
The theater of war has moved to the microscopic level.
The flexibility and lethality of these weapons mark a new level
in Man's development as a species
in America's historic role in shaping--
uh, yeah, bottoms up.
That warms the cockles.
Anyhow, the good news is, that we're going to Broadway.
We've been given a higher priority level and better funding.
We'll have a new name-- MK ULTRA.
Is that settled?
Um, it would be rather difficult to change it now.
I liked MK NAOMI. So homey.
MK ULTRA's more manly. More hi-tech.
Any other thoughts on that?
A deadly rose, no doubt, could be called AMBROSIA;
Then true ambrosia might soon cause nausea.
Ugly names for ugly things; MK ULTRA it remains.
(Holding up the Washington Post of Thursday, November 19, 1953)
Did you see this in the Post?
They're complaining about the use of dogs
in chemical experiments!
If they only knew what we use!
Coloreds, whores, queers and artists!
They'd applaud us!
Vin's point is this:
It's a high discretion operation.
Sidney, you said, I think I quote,
We're going to Broadway.
This should be no cause for celebration.
It puts us in a more delicate position.
Nothing can be said of this.
Cameras: Orin Buck & Michael Sandoval
Sound: Dan Gaydos
Video editing: Evan Hause
This opera is a work of fiction based upon true events and people.
Standard YouTube License