Space Scientists Stage an Opera

Janos Gereben on September 11, 2012
<em>Ground Control: an Opera in Space</em>
Ground Control: an Opera in Space

Space scientists from NASA Ames are producing the world premiere of Ground Control: an Opera in Space on Sept. 13, at the launch event of ZERO1 Biennial, at 300 S. 1st Street, in San Jose.

Created and directed by Nelly Ben Hayoun, performed live by the International Space Orchestra — composed of space scientists — the work is described as "blending space science, planet-poking, and bluegrass-playing spacecraft operators."

With music by Arthur Jeffes of Penguin Café, and Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), Ground Control features singer Bobby Womack, producer Richard Russell, and Japanese Otamatone inventor Maywa Denki, lyrics by science fiction author Bruce Sterling and writer Jasmina Tesanovic.

"In this tangential reality," says the announcement, "your Flight Controller conducts arias and the Payload Officer works a baritone sax, while the Capsule Communicator is on the triangle. Following the rules of tragedy defined by the ancient Greeks, the International Space Orchestra chorus introduces the public to the emotional nuances of space science's missions."

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