Opera Indigo - The metallic love story

22 January 2016 the Finnish National Opera premiered Eicca Toppinen and Perttu Kivilaakso's opera Indigo, which tells a sci-fi influenced story of an omnipotent multinational company and the search for happiness.

Indigo will be streamed worldwide on January 30th:
indigo live webcast from Finnish National Opera
(or http://areena.yle.fi/1-3073387 or http://areena.yle.fi/1-3073386)

This version will have subtitles in Finnish, and will be available for at least 30 days.

Also Arte Concert will be straming it: http://concert.arte.tv/fr
There will be no subtitles in the live stream, but in a week or so they will add subtitles in German and French.

Indigo is orchestrated by Jaakko Kuusisto and directed by Vilppu Kiljunen, with libretto written by Sami Parkkinen.

This metallic love story will be one of the year's key events of the National Opera. A genre-crossing thriller, it brings something unprecedented to the Ooppera stage. Sami Parkkinen's exciting story meets the pulsating music of Perttu Kivilaakso and Eicca Toppinen from the heavy metal cello band Apocalyptica.

Indigo is the story of the power of an all-pervading global corporation, of the search for happiness and of love. The performance-enhancing drug developed by the corporation has unexpected side effects. The number of victims is multiplying, and only the original developer of the drug can save the day. Someone has to travel into an alternate reality using a mysterious machine. But where will the journey end, and will we find happiness there?

Opera Indigo includessome rock music elementsbut is essentially a very traditional opera: Indigo has arias, duets, chorus scenes and soaring melodic lines especially for the tenor soloists.

Indigo Sinopsis

Music

Overture (Toppinen/Kivilaakso)
A Friend Returns (Toppinen)
Extinction of Love (Toppinen/Kivilaakso)
Dream of Aurelia (Toppinen/Kivilaakso)
Sea of Dreams (Kivilaakso)
Dilemma (Toppinen)
Riot Interlude (Toppinen/Kivilaakso)
The Riot (Kivilaakso)
Confrontation (Kivilaakso)
Too Late for Love (Kivilaakso)
Love Eternal (/Kivilaakso)
Evidence (Toppinen)
The Tape (Toppinen/Kivilaakso)
Daniel's Sacrifice (Kivilaakso)
Preparation (Kivilaakso)
Finale of Act 1: "The Test" (Toppinen/Kivilaakso)

Entr'Acte (Kivilaakso)
Lament of Aurelia (Toppinen)
Laboratory (Kivilaakso)
Relaunch (Kivilaakso)
The Journey: "Carl - Governor Of Paradise - End Of The Journey" (Kivilaakso)
Release Me (Toppinen)
Apology (Kivilaakso)
The Faithful (Kivilaakso)
Death of Hackert (Kivilaakso)
In Your Honour - The Liturgy of Swanson (Kivilaakso)
The Last Chance (Toppinen)
Finale: "Beyond The Big Sleep" (Kivilaakso)

Background

A global pharmaceutical corporation, CoOpCo, has developed a drug named Serenide. It enhances productivity, as its users can function with only two hours of sleep per night. Howerer, seven years later disastrous side effects begin to emerge: users can no longer sleep at all, and they lose their sanity and physical health. The development of the drug envolved a machine that allows deep probing of the human mind. Yet the deepest level of the sub-conscious, accessing which would have ensured the safetyof Serenide, was never attained. One of the scientists died in the testing.

Act 1

Daniel, one of the inventors of the testing machine, retreated into solitude years ago after loosing his friend and colleague Carl and wants nothing more to do with the corporation. Myrna, Carl's widow, begs Daniel for his help so that the testing can be begun again. Daniel refuses.

Then Daniel seesa vision of Aurelia, who was his lover and also employed at the pharmaceutical corporation. Aurelia intends to sacrifice herself, taking a new test to obtain a new and better set of test results. This would save CoOpCo from ruin.

At the headquarter of the corporation, Daniel's father Dr Hackert and CoOpCo CEO Mrs Swanson ponder whether to resume testing. Dr Hackert is against re-testing because of how dangerous the test is. While he admits to being the developer of the drug, liability lies with the corporation that released the unfinished product on the market. The Minister of Propaganda and the General arrivewith the informationthat the casualty count is rising alarmingly. Mrs Swanson orders the test to commence regardless of its risk.

Outside, the rioting crowd of Serenide victims protests violently against the corporation. Myrna is among the protesters, and the security gards abuse and detain her. Daniel brings Dr Hackert a recording that reveals what happened to Carl.

Aurelia is preparing for the test when Daniel suddenly arrives. Aurelia declares herself fully commited to the research of CoOpCo, but as Daniel confesses his feelings for her, their love is rekindled.

Daniel shows Mrs Swanson, the General and others the recording of Carl's death. He tells them of the decision to try to go down to Indigo level, which controls dreams. Only there could they obtain the results that are needed to fix the Serenide drug.

Daniel insists on taking the test instead of Aurelia. Mrs Swanson orders the test to proceed despite the protestation of Dr Hackert and Aurelia. Aurelia starts up the machine: it cycles through the Orange level to Yellow, Green and Blue. The test can no longer be aborted once blue level is reached. Aurelia begs Daniel to come back, but Daniel says that he is doing this on behalf of all the victims of Serenide.

Daniel seems to have entered a different world. It seems to the observers that he has recognised something familiar with which he attempts to communicate.

Act II

Daniel lies unconcious in the machine. He is stuck at Blue level, and his life is in danger. Aurelia discontinues the test. Dr Hackert is forced to admit how serious the situation is. The crowd outside becomes an angry mob. Aurelia regrets her action, because the test had not progressed far enough.

Mrs Swanson demands that the test be continuedat any cost. Dr Hackertand Aurelia argue for abandoning the test, but theyare overruled. Daniel is now propelled further towards an unknown area of his sub-concious. Aurelia and Dr Hackert are convinced that Daniel will die.

Daniel finds himself in a misteriously beautiful landscape that is somehow familiar although he has never seen it before. He also meets Carl, who seems at once familiar and completely alien. Daniel asks Carlto return, but Carl refuses, because he says he controls the world in which they are now. Daniel is increasingly astonished as Carl presents himself as the absolute ruler of his world, a god. Daniel no longer recognises his former friend. Suddenly Carl falls listlessly to the ground. Carl says that he cannot return and that the two of them are now in Carl's mind. The Ancient Child appears and takes Carl away.

Daniel cannot understand what is happening. He does not even know whether he is alive or died.

Myrna is dragged into a cell in the basement of CoOpCo. The security guards prepare to continue their physical abuse of her, but Myrna defianly demands that they releas her. Dr Hackert intervenes at the last moment. He frees Myrna and apologises for everything he has done.

The mob is enraged, demanding that the guilty party come forth. Aurelia, monitoring the test, notices that Daniel's vital signs have disappeared. Dr Hackert, having lost his son, no reason to live. He curses his fate, decides to sacrifice himself and gives himself up to the mob, which duly lunches him. Myrna is powerless to do anything but watch all this.

Mrs Swanson arrives to address the mob. She puts all blame firmly on Dr Hackert and explains that the test machine is being decommisioned. Mrs Swanson promises a fix to the side effects of Serenide, and the crowd is satisfied.

Having been released, Myrna encounters Aurelia in the laboratory: the monstrous machine has robbed them both of a loved one. Myrna now wants to destroy the machine, but Aurelia argues that the Serenide victims must first be saved. Indigo level has still not been attended. Aurelia prepares to take the test, in hopes of meeting Daniel again. Although Myrna is determined to destroy the machine, she launches the final, secret test.

Daniel and Aurelia meet in another dimension. They do not know whether it is real or not , but it no longer matters. They both hail love as the only true goal, the meaning of life. At the moment, the entire environments takes on an indigo colour. Aurelia and Daniel that they are now immersed in their love.

Suddenly, Daniel feels a pain in his head and tells Aurelia that he must go. Comfused, Aurelia looks on as the Ancient Child appears again and leads Daniel away.


Photo: Sakari Viika, Evgenia Melnikova

Press conference for the "Indigo" opera, 11.01.2016

In the bright and airy lobby, with a cup of coffee and pastries, members of the creative team of the opera "Indigo", talked about that controversial project. Alongside Apocalyptica, conductorJaakko Kuusisto, main cast singers Markus Nykänen, Marjukka Tepponen, Jaakko Kortekangas and others answered the journalists.

Photos from the press-conference in Finnish National Opera

Read the report from the pressconference of the production team for the "Indigo" opera

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