NEW OPERA HERO - ABOUT
There won't be many bands that play their first ever show headlining a sold out Opera house, but New Opera Hero's live performances are so extraordinary they were passed around museums and theatres long before setting foot into any venue. With their upcoming debut release, the London group based around producer Steff Ungerer finally presents the alternative/electronic sound of their unique band concept to a music audience.
"NOH was always about the live experience and that includes all elements on stage, not just the music" says Steff who composed, directed, designed and performed New Opera Hero's first show at the Royal Opera in Liege, Belgium in 2009 together with co-founder Mike Wilson.
Steff and Mike, who have created shows for international artists from the Pet Shop Boys to Skrillex, decided that they needed a playground for their more leftfield ideas… and New Opera Hero was born.
The 3D holographic electro/rock set that followed featured a number of talented collaborators and musicians including: singers Josie Lloyed, James Manning and Fiona Bevan; dancers Jana Cavendish and Sarita Piotrowski; animator Philip Gordon; lighting designer David Abra; sound engineer Tom Hammond and strategists Tony Kernan and Hartmut Hoelter.
New Opera Hero’s ground-breaking show won them two MAMA awards and gigs on major performance stages like the Lowry, Manchester and Kinetica Art Fair, London. However it wasn't until their set on the main stage of Germany’s FusionFestival in 2013, that New Opera Hero became a bona-fide band. Inspired by the amazing audience reaction, Steff adapted their show for the gigging circuit, and in late 2014 he took the band on the road after finding a perfect match to his song writing in the incredible vocal range of singer Agon and the sound obsession of drummer Raoul Terzi.
Once you get over the fact that the 4th band member on stage is a projected baby that is controlled live by the musicians, you understand how New Opera Hero manage to bring the essence of what Digifest festival's director Jonathan Lewis calls "a totally new band concept" to a grassroots level. With the help of this virtual band leader NOH thrusts the audience on a musical rollercoaster ride - veering between alternative anthems and upbeat electronica that would otherwise be difficult to pull off. "We combine the live energy of a guitar band with the big beats of electronic music and the baby makes sure everyone keeps up when we switch,” explains Steff.
Whilst first official release in 2016 seems to indicate that the band is settling on a more traditional course, this pretence of normality will disappear quickly once you see New Opera Hero live on stage.