Opera and Environment
– Environmental Opera Research Conference
March 18, 2022, Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland
Environmental crisis is a fact that we cannot deny, and it demands global solutions from all areas of human endeavor. This also includes the creation, production, performance, and study of opera.
Some composers already are developing new operas as a form of social critique and activism, such as Sun & Sea by Lina Lapelytė, Vaiva Grainytė, Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, and Lucia Pietroiusti, and All the Truths We Cannot See: A Chernobyl Story (2021) by Uljas Pulkkis and Glenda D. Goss.
Some opera houses have taken practical steps to address the environmental toll of their business by implementing new, green practices, such as using solar panels, utilizing recycled materials, digitizing different administrative and technical processes, and making opera productions more sustainable.
Environmental Opera Research addressed these questions on the theoretical level. It asked what eco-sensitive opera research might look like, and how it could respond to the environmental crisis theoretically. The conference wished papers considering the following questions: How will the environmental crisis affect opera as an art form as well as opera studies? What new perspectives does the environmental crisis bring to opera and opera research? How can opera and opera research support positive developments on environmental issues?