[lg policy] "u" - the First Authentic Klingon Opera On Earth

Dave Sayers dave.sayers at CANTAB.NET
Thu Aug 12 14:29:31 UTC 2010


  About the project

The Klingon are known as passionate opera-lovers.

However very little is known about their highly evolved form of musical 
expression here on earth.

Floris Schönfeld has managed to lay his hands on some fragments of a 
masterpiece of the batlh jachlut or Honorable Battle opera.

Its title is 'u', which can be translated as 'universe' or 'universal'. 
It will be the basis for the opera 'u', the first complete, authentic 
Klingon opera here on earth.

Klingon opera uses the principle of musical combat. Beauty in Klingon 
music comes from the impact of two opposing forces. To quote a well 
known Klingon proverb qa' wIje 'meH masuv or 'We fight to enrich the 
spirit.' The Klingon orchestra is made up of various indigenous Klingon 
instruments, some that have never been heard on earth before. The Terran 
Klingon Research Ensemble has been set up further develop a coherent 
Klingon musical practice amongst human musicians.

The libretto of 'u' is based on the epos of Kahless the unforgettable. 
Betrayed by his brother and witness to his father's brutal slaying, 
Kahless is pitted against his bitter enemy the mighty tyrant Molor. To 
regain his honor he must travel into the underworld, create the first 
Bat'leth, be united with his true love the lady Lukara and fight many 
epic battles. Through this awe inspiring adventure Kahless redefines 
what it is to be truly Klingon. With the help of Marc Okrand, the worlds 
leading Klingon language expert, we have managed to piece together the 
stories in their original epic-poetic form for the first time.

The project 'u' has been running for about two years now. In this time 
the KTRE and Floris Schönfeld have given numerous performances and 
lecture in The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, as well as being invited 
to the artist-in-residence program of Robert Wilson's Watermill Center 
in New York. The premiere of the opera is planned for September this 
year on the location of the Celestial Vault, a land art piece by James 
Turrell in Kijkduin.

'u' is a *Zeebelt* production.

'u' was developed in part at the *Watermill Center* for the Performing 
Arts in Watermill NY

'u' is made possible by: *NFPK, Gemeente Den Haag, VSB Fonds, SNS Reaal 
Fonds, Fonds BKVB, Stroom Den Haag*


Dr. Dave Sayers
Honorary Research Fellow
School of the Environment and Society
Swansea University
dave.sayers at cantab.net

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