A Darwin Electro-Opera

There have been a lot of great Darwin themed things popping up in the past few months in celebration of the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species, but none as avant garde and awesome as "Tomorrow, in a year", an electro-opera based on the life and work of Charles Darwin by The Knife, a Swedish electronic music duo (and one of my favorite bands). From the website of the company performing the opera, Danish theater group Hotel Pro Forma:

An opera singer, a pop singer and an actor perform The Knife's music and represent Darwin, time and nature on stage. Six dancers form the raw material of life. Together with the newest technology in light and sound, our image of the world as a place of incredible variation, similarity and unity is re-discovered...

The opera-genre provides the DNA, the framework of the performance. It calls for large scale, and it forms a space where form and expression dominate...

The first part of the performance is exploratory. It concentrates on observing the underlying sequences and relationships between image, narrative, movement and music used in the performance. The second part is a synthesis of the material. A completed image and totality emerge, before the performance again mutates and passes into new forms, as happens over time with all things.

The opera presents an image of Darwin that above all reminds us that the world is a place of remarkable similarities and amazing diversity. That over time - tomorrow, in a year, or tomorrow, in a million years - change is inevitable.

You can watch an excerpt from the opera below, and stream or download the song "Colouring of Pigeons" from The Knife's website.

More like this

The music from the Darwin Electro-Opera I mentioned a while back is now available for free, streaming on Pitchfork! (via Nick)
Thursday, October 8, at 8 pm, the Firebird Ensemble will be performing The Origin Cycle, eight selections from Charles Darwin's work Origin of Species set to music. The performance will be at Stanford University's Campbell Recital Hall, and tickets are free, but you'll want to reserve your seats…
How many oratorios begin with a song celebrating biogenesis and conclude with an epilogue advising us to be good caretakers of our four billion year old home? As far as I know, only one and that would be Lifetime: Songs of Life and Evolution by David Haines. Lifetime had its North American…
I moved from Cambridge MA about two and a half years ago but stay in touch with friends who still reside there. I try to visit my old 'hood a few times a year. Cambridge is right up there with Madison WI as my city to which I'd most like to return. I was not only one of the many biotechies who…

Ha! Looks cool! It's in Münster in June. Wanna come for a visit? :)

I saw Tomorrow, in a Year in Copenhagen in September, and can confirm that it is indeed awesome. If you get the chance, see it! And in the meantime, buy the soon-to-be-released album, the music is wonderful.

It's great to hear a positive review. I love the Knife, but Knife fan reviews I've seen on a music site said it was lackluster. I haven't been following it and was amazed that their opera was about Darwin. This is the first place I've read about that.

By CS Shelton (not verified) on 14 Jan 2010 #permalink

Darwin died as a Christian.

this is garbage. absolutely boring, and so expected.

Oscillator- I'm sorry you seem to have very few people following your blog, with half of them being filthy trolls. Keep your chin up!

By CS Shelton (not verified) on 14 Jan 2010 #permalink