Ooppera Skaala’s Great Conspiracy Opera premieres this spring. The production is a co-operation between Ooppera Skaala, Aalto University’s Department of Media Technology and Crucible Studio, and has been funded by Aalto University Media Factory.
The Great Conspiracy Opera is a new breed of audiovisual performance best described by the term multimedia opera. The work combines opera singing and electroacoustic music with surround sound and 3D computer animation as well as research in motion detection and artificial intelligence.
The libretto by Arto Koskinen is based on a speech given by John F. Kennedy to the American Newspaper Publishers Association at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel on April 27, 1961. This speech has become the center point of a host of Internet “documents” on conspiracy theories that blend fact and fiction in convoluted ways. The themes of these theories include the events of 9/11; plans for world conquest by the Illuminati; UFO contacts by the United States; and secret research laboratories that JFK’s speech from half a century ago seems to foretell with eerie precision.
The Great Conspiracy Opera moves simultaneously along multiple time axes, posing tough questions about who really benefits from conspiracy theories and how governments can actively exploit them to control their citizens in an atmosphere of fear.
In its compositional language, the work explores the limitless possibilities of tonal chromaticism. In addition to opera singing, the instrumentation utilizes computer programming; a virtual symphony orchestra based on sample libraries; synthesizers; soundscapes created from concrete environmental sounds; acoustic instruments and the processed human voice (including Vocoder). The performance venue will be equipped for 5.1 surround sound, enabling audio elements to be placed three-dimensionally in the aural space.
As a part of the production Department of Media Technology’s RUIS system (Reality-based User Interface System) will be experimented as a technical platform for using motion detection as an input for interactive and adaptive stage design.
Performances in Korjaamo Culture Factory: