Warning: Contains Spoilers
On November 14, 2016, two teenagers in the Russian village of Strugi Krasnye began broadcasting video of themselves through Periscope, a live-streaming website. The pair, named Denis and Katya, explained to their viewers that they had run away, had hidden in a cabin for three days, fought violently with Katya’s relatives when confronted, and were now barricaded in the cabin and under threat by local police and Special Forces.
The Periscope audience grew throughout the day as they streamed more videos. Friends, relatives, classmates, and teachers from their hometown of Pskov joined the live-stream and wrote to them, as did strangers who happened upon it.
By the next day, the story of Denis and Katya facing off against Special Forces had reached news outlets around the world. Thousands more watched their videos. Conspiracy theories bloomed. Fan sites appeared. Denis and Katya became a brief internet sensation.
The opera’s six characters (Journalist, Friend, Teacher, Teenager, Neighbor, Medic) are all played by two singers. They re-tell Denis and Katya’s story from six very different viewpoints.