carbon chronicles

Carbon Chronicles' is a participatory opera blending science, myth and politics. It uses music and humour to provoke discussion and inspire action to reduce our dependency on a petroleum-based, exploitative global system, in order to live sustainably in a low-carbon society. A chorus of elemental beings sing of their evolution into resources (minerals and fossil fuels) exploited by humans, with the consequent planetary crisis and climate chaos. At the end of the piece, with global collapse imminent, the participants are invited to imagine the scenario that expresses their hopes or fears for the future. The opera is written so that anyone can take part, of any age, with or without musical experience, whether as singers/performers, makers, or just interested people who would like to engage with the ideas. Various versions of Carbon Chronicles have now been performed in Norwich, Edinburgh, London and the 2010 Festival of Jim in Sussex.

Carbon Chronicles in Powys
In April, members of Powys Young Carers, and the Elemental Chorus (an ad hoc choir of local singers) presented Carbon Chronicles to a packed house at CARAD, Rhayader. It was the most successful performance of the Chronicles to date. The young people had been working for months, meeting regularly at the Llandrindod Wells Youth Centre to rehearse, developing and discovering their skills not only in singing, but also in acting, improvising, and making costumes. In October 2011, we gave a work in progress presentation at the Llandrindod Wells Youth Centre, which delighted the audience of friends and family. Nearly everyone in that production decided that they wanted to go on to be part of a professional public was a big commitment, and everyone worked together as a team to make it happen. Richie Cotterill did a superb job as the baddie/dictator, at once comic and threatening, backed by the rich voices of Gold and Henry the Navigator (Bryn Griffiths and Austin Allen), and in contrast to such characters as the alluring Diamond (Emily Higgins), our young duo of Ancient Plankton (Teri Griffiths and Britney Davies), scary Bacteria (Bethan Stokes) and Carbon (Jon Corrington). Both the young people and the older members of the cast and chorus want to do more next year, so watch this space for new operatic ventures in Wales!

Richie Cotterill as Cecil Rhodes.

Clickhere to listen to the opening scene of Carbon Chronicles at Rhayader.

Austin Allen as Henry the Navigator on the hunt for gold.

Clickhere to listen to Henry the Navigator from Carbon Chronicles at Rhayader.

Libretto and scores to download:

Click here to download a pdf of the complete libretto.

Click here to download Act One of the score (1mb)Click here to download Act Two of the score (5mb)

Click here to download Act Three of the score (4.8mb)

Please contact Camilla Cancantata to find out more.