Dream team

Director Daniel Moshel (not pictured) who created the YouTube sensation MeTube, sat down recently—and virtually—to chat with La Cieca (also not pictured.)

La Cieca: I don’t know what your purpose was in making this video but for me it had a very personal meaning, an expression of the private ecstasy a lonely opera fan feels when hearing (or performing) opera music. Is this anything close to what you were trying to express?

Daniel Moshel: Yes, it is very close. The leading character’s will to express himself comes from a strong desire to sing with all his means, so the protagonist carries on, in spite of all the ideas of his mother to “enhance” the setting.  In my eyes these two characters are juxtaposing two celebrated types of YouTube content creators in one story. First are the people throwing out their skill to the public (no matter how good they are),; on the other hand the people who try to get attention by any means necessary (i.e., exploiting themselves). In the research phase we watched so many wonderful, funny and touching videos of enthusiasts singing arias on YouTube. Giving tribute to them in starting the clip this way became the key element of the story.

LC: Was the idea for the video yours or August Schram‘s?

DM: August loves to occupy himself with projects that deal with the fusion of applied arts, film and song. When I came up with the idea and the story/script to the video, he considered it carefully, because he is doing a lot of oratorio music, but soon agreed to do it.  The difference between a Bach cantata and this project couldn’t be bigger; however for August its is equally interesting to explore “a soul searching for God” or “a man trapped by the tyranny of his caring mother.”

LC: Have you two worked together before? Can you describe your collaboration?

DM: We are friends for some years now. Our first project was in 2009 a short movie about the Schubert song “Der Doppelgänger” directed by my wife Stephanie Winter and produced by myself. We plan to put that on YouTube on a later occasion.

LC: Your film is called “a homage to thousands of ambitious YouTube users and video bloggers.”  Can you name some of your favorite YouTube videos of amateur performers?

DM: Among them are a wonderful Russian woman…

and this British guy.

LC: I have also seen the trailer of your film Login 2 Life, and I wonder if you would talk some about the similarities—if any— between virtual worlds and YouTube performance.

Login 2 Life portrays people who have found an alternate home in an online world.  It seems to me that a huge community feels the same on video portals like YouTube.  Both online worlds and video portals are new means of communication, both of which can be used as an instrument to express and fulfill one’s needs and desires.

LC:  Are you in general a fan of opera?

DM: Let’s put it that way: My fan attitude towards opera is growing. When I was a child my greatest opera influence was my mother. Passively I consumed during these days enormous amounts of classical music (especially Giuseppe Verdi). Of course I turned to other music (e.g. NYHC) growing up in my teens. I had to become over 30 to turn back to classical music. Both my wife and August are majorly accountable for this.

LC:  Have you any ambition to direct either opera on stage of films of opera?

DM: In my profession as a director I’m always interested in challenge myself doing something new I haven’t done before, as long the outcome is unique and fulfilling.

LC:  Speaking of unique and fulfilling, my readers have asked for the telephone number of the bearded man in the yellow briefs.

DM: Nikos is on Facebook