The Howard Hughes Corporation® to Launch OPUS Festival in Columbia, Maryland
DALLAS-- On Saturday, October 7th, from 4:00PM - 11:00PM, the newly renovated Merriweather® Park at Symphony Woods will play host to OPUS 1, a bold festival inspired by the spirit of the woods of Downtown Columbia, Maryland. Celebrating the art of sound, the inaugural one day festival blends immersive art installations, mesmerizing music performances and treetop projection mapping. State-of-the-art technology coexists with artisanal offerings and a bonfire hearth to provide a surreal sensory journey.
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“We are pleased to bring this unique immersive experience to Downtown Columbia,” said David R. Weinreb, CEO of the Howard Hughes Corporation. “Embracing art and culture as an integral part of dynamic placemaking, The Howard Hughes Corporation sees OPUS 1 as a fitting 50th Anniversary celebration for one the nation’s first master planned communities that includes one of the country’s top music venues—Merriweather Post Pavilion®. The festival will continue to strengthen Downtown Columbia as a vibrant cultural destination.”Presented by The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE: HHC), the developers of Downtown Columbia, OPUS 1 will bring art and cutting-edge culture to the area, providing festival-goers with an enchanting evening in the forest that is a multi-sensory experience filled with discovery and wonder.
“OPUS 1 is the first day of the next 50 years of Columbia,” said John DeWolf, Executive Vice President, Development at The Howard Hughes Corporation. “OPUS 1 allows us to tell the story of the next phase in Downtown Columbia’s cultural evolution, to help paint the picture of what we imagine the future of the city will look like. We are committed to providing an opportunity where art, music, and technology can flourish in an extraordinary way.”
Curated and produced by Wild Dogs International, the New York City-based art production, curation, and design company, OPUS 1 will be composed of eleven large scale activation areas for guests of all ages, including:
- The Lighting Cloud, an immersive, inflatable air pavilion designed by architect Jesse Seegers – offers a euphoric performance environment and an iconic backdrop for dynamic projection art;
- The US premiere of Híbridos Live, the Vincent Moon-fronted performance project that explores Brazilian ritual dance and soundscapes through live video mixing and performance;
- The Color Field Immersion created by Doron Sadja, an American artist, composer, and curator whose work explores modes of perception and the experience of sound, light, and space;
- The Mutual Wave Machine by Suzanne Dikker in collaboration with a group of computational artists, video artists, and neuroscientists, is an interactive neurofeedback installation that embodies the elusive notion of “being on the same wavelength” with another person through brainwave synchronization;
- The Dream Machine: Fresh off of the world premiere at Melbourne’s Supersense Festival, Dream Machine takes Brion Gysin’s hallucination-inducing sculpture to an immersive performance environment on the iconic Chrysalis stage, led by Darkside’s Dave Harrington and a host of special guests;
- EXO-TECH Galactic Hearth: Sophia Brous lights up The Hearth stage with her star-studded improvisational ensemble weaving a strikingly unique palette across wide influences, exploring free jazz improvisation alongside expansive R&B exotica;
- After premiering at the Broad MuseumMiho Hatori’s New Optimism transforms the Lightning Cloud into an ethereal cave where audience members adorn headlamps to provide interactive stage lighting, while enveloping projections offer an illusory take on historic cave drawings;
- Following a multi-year hiatus of solo projects and artistic adventures, NYC-based indie-experimentalistsGang Gang Dance return with fresh takes on classic material and a glimpse of what’s to come;
- In addition to his poetic live performance, Lonnie Holley, a giant in the world of outsider art, leads a found object sculpture workshop for all ages;
- The Projection Cube, an immersive experience where guests are surrounded in a 360° environment of video art, curated by multimedia artist Peter Burr;
- George Mason Pep Band: Voted Best Pep Band in the Country, George Mason’s Green Machine and its eccentric bandleader Doc Nix kick off the festival with a performance featuring over 50 of the group’s top players and a set of energetic tributes to today’s hits of EDM and pop.
“Audio-visual arts converge through site-specific experiences to manifest the spirit of the woods in a way that is both subtle and spectacular, intimate and immersive,” said Ken Farmer, creative director of Wild Dogs International. “The forest is a liminal space where boundaries are blurred between audience and performer, onlooker and participant, between people, genres, and media. OPUS 1 is an enveloping journey down the rabbit hole.”
In addition, OPUS 1 will extend the multi-sensory experience to an upscale culinary village, providing guests with bites from regional purveyors. As the groundswell moment of the celebrations surrounding Columbia’s 50th anniversary, OPUS 1 will feature the new Chrysalis Stage transformed like never before.
Admission is free and open to all ages. Guests are encouraged to reserve their tickets at opusmerriweather.com for expedited entry.
ABOUT DOWNTOWN COLUMBIA
One of the first master planned communities in the U.S., Columbia, MD, was founded by legendary developer James W. Rouse in 1967. Comprised of 14,000 acres, it includes ten primarily residential villages. The 400-acre underdeveloped core of Columbia became the subject of an extensive five-year process that culminated with the passage by the Howard County government of the Downtown Columbia Plan in 2010, a guide to creating a vital area “in which residents can live, shop, work, entertain, exercise, and enjoy cultural opportunities in an enriched natural setting.”
ABOUT THE HOWARD HUGHES CORPORATION®
The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the U.S. Our properties include master planned communities, operating properties, development opportunities and other unique assets spanning 14 states from New York to Hawaii. The Howard Hughes Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as HHC with major offices in New York, Columbia, MD, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas and Honolulu. For additional information about HHC, visit www.howardhughes.com.
ABOUT WILD DOGS INTERNATIONAL
Wild Dogs is an art production, curation, and design company based in NYC. We collaborate with artists, musicians, museums, brands, developers, and civic organizations through site-responsive installation design and production. Wild Dogs works at a variety of scales to transform spaces and create visceral experiences of light, sound, performance, and projection.
Giselle-Marie Roig, 202-733-5223
The Howard Hughes Corporation
Cristina Carlson, 646-822-6910
VP, Corporate Communications and Public Relations
The Howard Hughes Corporation
David O’Reilly, 214-741-7744
Chief Financial Officer
Source: The Howard Hughes Corporation