Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Aren't you glad the title of our opera isn't this long?

Title Page of Sloane’s book, 1707 © House of Commons Library

During our recent visit to London, we spent some time in the King’s Library at the British Museum.  This portion of the museum documents the imperial fascination with collecting, scientifically analyzing, rationalizing, and understanding the natural world during the Enlightenment period in England.  This pre-Victorian period (loosely 1680-1820),  was inspired by the ideals of science based on objectivity and truth.  (See the proliferation of scientific books such as the one at left.) As the Victorian era continued, this scientifically-based obsession with collecting became more about owning and dominating, as the British Empire reached its zenith, spreading over the entire globe.

One of the principle themes explored in Steampunk culture and art, and of our upcoming opera, is the collision between technology and humanity.  The development of technology (microscopes, steam power, telescopes, etc.)  in the Enlightenment era and throughout the 19th century was driven by the continuing desire to understand and dominate our natural world.

This image of the old sailing vessel, the Fighting Temeraire, being pulled into harbor for destruction by the newer tug boat is a classic of JMW Turner’s subject matter — he explored the natural vs. the technological constantly in his art. It’s no secret that this battle between the natural and the technological/human-made/artificial is still going on.  JMW Turner's The Fighting Temeraire.

JMW Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire, 1839

Ruth L. Carver, Associate Producer, Luminous Thread

Well, the title of our upcoming original opera has a slightly more descriptive title: Queen Victoria’s Floating Garden of Secrets and Natural Wonders.  Say that 10 times, fast.

Climate change is one of the major themes Luminous Thread explores in its shows, and as Denver audiences will see, we do it in a fun, farcical, irreverent manner- not your average scare tactic, or boring, preachy, educational drama.

This recent series of photos of an Australian Red Wave could almost be backdrops for Queen Victoria, as we watch a motley group of royalty and pirates combat the environment.

Brett Martin, Perth Weather Live, republished on Huffington Post

Brett Martin, Perth Weather Live, republished on Huffington Post

Whether these photos are “real” or not, they are certainly theatrical!  They remind me of the photoshopped Hurricane Sandy images.  Our opera looks at the scary facts of human/environmental interactions through the lens of operatic humor and grandiosity.  Opera often presents the most hyperbolic human situations or emotions…but if these photos are real, then our story isn’t that much of an exaggeration.  Yikes!