The journey in Space Opera is designed and harmonized entirely with Gustav Holst's The Planets, Op. 32, which is one of his most beloved and admired works. It was written in 1914, riding on the trend at the time of a renewed and growing interest for astrology and theosophy. The opera was completed in two distinct phases: the first phase with Mars, Venus and Jupiter and the second phase with Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Mercury, after a hiatus with the completion of other compositions. The last note was written in 1916. It is important to point out that Holst did not write scores dedicated to Earth, the Sun and the Moon (and neither on comets, nebulas or the Milky Way), so the correspondent tracks have been completely remixed to cover the entire passage of the Space Opera's journey.
Maestro Josè Serebrier - www.joseserebrier.com
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra - www.mso.com.au
ABC Classics - www.abcmusic.com.au
"Space Opera" is a virtual interplanetary journey realized with CG "spherical rendering" technology and presented in a 360° panoramic hemispherical view, a “fulldome” video within a dome dedicated to the projection of works such as that of the planets. The discovery of a flying disc beneath the earth allows passengers to take off from the Earth and visit an entire solar system in less than 40 minutes: the visual setup of the opera is absolutely experimental and unedited. The ambient recreates the interior of an alien spaceship where a voice facilitates the journey and provides information on each galactic stop. Space Opera is therefore an artistic, philosophic, scientific and cinematic experience all at the same time and indeed a unique experience of its kind.
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A battlefield where water aspires to turn into vapor, and vapor to revert back to water. Like a breathing organism, your planet lives a delicate equilibrium that has generated, through a slow incubation, the interlude of life and its blooming into countless variations, all striving toward constant improvement. You have put mirrors and lenses to good use, creating powerful telescopes like Hubble: a window looking out on the universe, capable of taking your vision out into deep space, pushing the limits of your existence ever further. The international space station is the symbol of the shared dream of space and its exploration, for a supreme science which knows no country.
Nearest island of the galactic reef. Her light is but a reflection of the sun's glory: more than all the other stars combined it lightens your nights, like a beacon… leading you from the obscurity, to the growing light of dawn. For most of your time, the myth of Icarus had been a warning not to fly too high: with the modern era you have forgotten wax and feathers, and you have built firmer wings. With the Apollo 11 the first human foot steps lightly on lunar soil. Columbus of the technological age, you have reached the alien continent, expanding the boundaries of what you call "humanity". From that moment on you have lived in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It was not a miracle; you just decided to go.
Even if Earth can be legitimately considered the center where your life roots , none the less there are other fulcrums around you, giving the momentum and keeping together systems increasingly bigger and more complex: the nearest to you, being the Sun. Many of your painters have depicted it as a simple yellow spot, but only a drop of absolute could transform a yellow spot into the Sun. Your star has burned red-hot in the silence of the space for over 4 billion years, but the zenith of its blaze has been passed, and now, slowly is bound to extinguish. But within cosmic times… immeasurable for you…mere instants for the universe.
Mercury, the smallest among these planets, close to one tenth of the earth: a hell of heat during day, while a freezing one over night, and amongst all it is the nearest neighbor of the Sun. Similar in its features to the moon, Mercury is covered by mare-like plains of dark rock, and heavy craters spread across all of its surface. For it is so near to the sun, and his surface so soaked in his light that your telescopes can not focus it clearly, nor steal its images against the radiating sun. With its three year orbit, Messenger probe has disclosed his veiled geography and the dark side of the most lightened planet of the solar system.
So bright that, under the right conditions, it can be seen from earth, during dusk and dawn. Its surface owes its appearance to intense volcanic activity and dramatic environmental change, that over hundred of years has shaped it and made its atmosphere a furnace where the air is as thick as molten lead. Don't be fooled by the myth of the goddess of love: once similar to earth, Venus is now a possible representation of the Earth's fate.
In your mythology, Mars is the divinity of war and fertility. His surface seen through your telescopes, has provided a continuous stimulus for your imagination, to the point of letting you believe, until not so long ago, that it was inhabited by alien civilization but its color is due to massive amounts of reddish iron, oxidized through time, and its morphology, by storms that kept hitting it violently with no mercy. A desert covered in rust till the eye can see. And You, humans, have desired to admire…and you have gone through endless efforts, to send your curiosity and your hopes in surrogates of your body and senses. So was born the Mars Express. But those were still just distant and external glimpses. And it wasn't long, before your desire could land to his surface with Spirit to finally witness its landscapes.
Jupiter , supreme God of the sky and thunders, of wrath and justice. The biggest and largest planet, with a mass greater than twice the sum of all other planets, satellites and space dust combined in your solar system. A mass so relevant to contribute meaningfully with the Sun to the gravitational balance that keep together your solar system. It’s a gas giant made of hydrogen and helium, with a small yet heavy rock and metal core, that has spared your civilization countless times by the deadly arrow of the cosmos. Inside its atmosphere strong, violent, and persistent winds and storms wraps its surface…. and among those the queen of all tornados: the so called giant red spot. An anticyclonic turbulence twice the size of your planet, that has scourged it for centuries: a gazing eye, amidst a storm with no end.
Saturn, devourer of his progeny, vainly opposing a fate, which leads those who follow it, and drag those that oppose it. And look at the universe, isn't it the resulting outcome of a continuous balancing game amidst opposing forces? Saturn divine descendant of Gaia, the mother earth,… and the father sky, Uranus. Hold on a pedestal of debris and precious moons. Dancing to their voices Space satellites , cosmic vagabonds, cicatrized fragments of forgotten collisions, all dragged and pulled out from their cosmic run by the gravitational symphony of this planet, floating on its icy ring and cosmic dust. Saturn's moons dance to its score as notes on a musical staff.
And the more we travel away from your star (and its radiations) , the more Space grows into a cooler and gloomier place..immersed in these abysses Voyager 2 travels aiming to disclose the secrets of the furthest planets of this system The Ice giant, like Uranus: hydrogen, water, helium..a stone cold heart unable to warm up a permanently frozen gaseous body.
Neptune last of its family of planets. Gas , water and icy formations in a scorching ocean suspended like a drop in the universe..with a complex and dynamic atmosphere, the god of the seven seas is covered by cumulus clouds and scratched by winds - faster than terrestrial speed of sound. Sliding and slinging from planet to planet, like a stone bouncing in a pond, Voyager 2 is going past Neptune , appointed pioneer of the extra-solar space...
You are little, yet immense… for those same reasons that an atom can be compared to the whole universe, and the whole universe to an atom. Your psyche is designed in harmony with this structure, and what happens in the macrocosm happens all the same in the tiniest and more subjective recesses of your soul. Within any chaos there is a cosmos, within any disorder… a hidden order: one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. And your sun is just one of hundreds of billions of other stars, of that galaxy you call the "Milky Way". And this galaxy is just one of billions of others in the Infinity you call "the Universe".