|| Operatica, the brainchild of techno producer/DJ Lord Vagner, is opera with an electronic twist. Musically, the instrumentation ranges from classical guitars, multiple violins and cellos to drum machines and MIDI programming. The featured performer on Operatica is Maureen O’Flynn, a soprano who soars through material as varied as Rachmaninoff and Vivaldi to more obscure composers like Rimsky-Korsakov and Villalobos, plus original compositions by Lord Vagner.
O’Flynn’s angelic voice prances on top of the highly constructed techno beats. The acoustic instruments add an air of believability to the performances, nicely tying them to their more familiar and traditional roots in this far from traditional musical application. "Charmed By A Rose," the Rimsky-Korsakov piece, is one of the largest productions on the Operatica CD, complete with translated spoken word overdubs, conga drums and a vocal range that resembles that of the Diva in the film The Fifth Element.
Though the two musicians appear to be from diametrically opposed worlds, it is precisely in the collision of their diverse style and substance where "OPERATICA" finds its inspiration. O' Flynn's ability to sing in French and Russian, as well as Italian and English, frees Vanger from producing redundant reinterpretations of the most popular and played-out arias. But even well-known classics, such as "Ave Maria," are presented with a fresh outlook here, Vanger's throbbing, ethereal trip-hop orchestration highlighting not only the awe-inspiring beauty, but also the inherent sexiness of O' Flynn's understated, angelic harmonies. Proving not to be a one-trick pony, Vanger utilizes an array of musical styles throughout the album - atmospheric drum 'n' bass on "Vocalise", deep house on "Melancholy Rose", ambient on "L'Heure Exquise", and hip-hop (complete with MC rhymes) on "Get Off My Land"- ensuring an interesting, and constantly evolving musical journey from the first note to the last.