‘U’: the Klingon Opera Gives Trekkies Something to Sing About

In case you missed the news over the weekend, the very first Klingon opera made its debut in the Zeebelt Theater in The Hague.  Yes, on Earth.  ‘U’, which means ‘universe’ or ‘universal’, is the first complete, authentic Klingon opera.

When I first read the story, I was highlight amused and not sure what to think. On other hand, it made Viola’s week ‘cause she is a Trekkie.  I am a fan, but FAR from a Trekkie.  Of course, if I was a Trekkie I would’ve known there is a complete Klingon dictionary and the society in Star Trek actually do love opera.

Trekkies everywhere can thank the Klingon Terran Research Ensemble (KTRE) for producing the new opera.  Taken from the project’s website:

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.

According to NPR:

Very few examples of Klingon opera survive, save a handful of snippets in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine episodes of Star Trek. So KTRE’s artistic Director Floris Schoenfeld has undertaken careful archival research. In particular, he studied an ancient musical treatise called the paq’jachchcu, or “book of the perfect scream.”

For more information, visit www.u-theopera.org.

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