The opera Paradise Lost is a diptych about one of the greatest issues of our times: the climate crisis. It is the second instalment of ‘Sign of the Times’, a series of newly written operas that are tied in with current affairs.
The first act of Paradise Lost narrates the legend of a paradise without poverty or suffering, a safe haven for a world in decline. Although there is no evidence that such a paradise actually exists, a Chinese climate refugee embarks upon a quest for it, driven by drought and heat. On his journey, he has some marvellous encounters with characters including a villager, a tree, a nurse and a soldier. Part 2 narrates the back story of this climate refugee and his family. Of how, with no water available, he was forced to drink his wife’s blood in order to build up the strength he needed for his epic journey. In the epilogue, his wife sings the myth of Nüba, the Chinese drought deity; of how she saved the world from the Great Flood and then fell in love with an ordinary mortal, and the dramatic consequences.
Nederlands studenten kamerkoor
composition Huang Ruo
conductor Bas Wiegers
libretto Jibbe Willems