The Klingon Opera "u" Set To Premiere Here On Earth

Written By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: Wired / Official "u'' Website

You just knew that this was going to happen, someone has composed a 'Klingon' opera.

I'm certain that there are many of you out there that believe that some people just take this whole "Star Trek" thing just way too far, and if you are one of them, then this story should just make you shake your head.

If you are one of us, and by "us" I mean people who love "Star Trek", and believe that you can never have too much of it, then this should put a smile on your face.

Indeed, a group of composers in the Netherlands, lead by Floris Schönfeld, Eef van Breen and Xavier van Wersch, are about to put on the first 'true' Klingon opera, complete with traditional instruments (never before seen here on Earth), costumes and songs.

The show is simply titled "u", which stands for 'universe' and, of course, the entire performance will be in Klingonese, so it may be kinda hard for us Earthers to understand.

To ensure that there would be no errors, and to ensure that the opera would be 100% Klingon, the production team enlisted the help of Mark Orkrand, an American linguist who created the Klingon language for the "Star Trek" television series.

Now, the one important question that is probably on every ones mind is, "who would want to see a Klingon opera?" Well, beyond hard-core Trek fans that is.

The answer is simple, actual Klingons.

Okay, I know that you are really confused know, and here is where this story really gets a but nutty, but the producers of "u" believe that they have located the exact location in space for Qo’noS (Kronos), the Klingon home world and and broke into an abandoned telescope station and transmitted an invite for any Klingons to drop in and check out the show.

Here is the scoop from the 'u' website:

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.

Here are the dates and venues for 'u':

9, 10, 11 and 12 September 2010
Theater Zeebelt, De Constant Rebecqueplein 20A,
at 20.30, tickets 15 euros
For reservations email
or call +31 (0) 70 3656546

25 September 2010
Qetlop in Farnsberg, Germany
A special event for exclusively for the Klingons of the Khemorex Klinzhai Fleet.

Klingon opera may be new thing here on Earth, but Klingon heavy metal has been around for some time, thanks to the Portland, Oregon based band Stovokor, who also perform their songs in Klingonese as well.

So far, there has been no response from Qo’noS, so it can be safe to assume that no actual Klingons will be attending 'u' this time around, or checking out any Stovokor shows in the near future either.

I think that the producers of the show kinda forgot that it takes years for sounds to travel through space.

So don't be surprised if sometime in the future a bunch of Klingons show up in tuxes expecting to see an opera, then get really angry when they learn that they missed it by a few hundred years, and start kicking the crap out of people.

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