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Auksalaq, a telematic opera, is composed by U.Va. associate music professor Matthew Burtner and media artist Scott Deal, and involves performers and audience members in the District of Columbia, Norway, Montreal, Alaska, New York, Charlottesville and Indianapolis. The stages are connected through advanced telematic technology, which allows performers to collaborate via the Internet in real time.


reprise performance
Monday, February 11, 7 pm

Following a postponement due to Hurricane Sandy, The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Lu Magnus Gallery in New York City, and University of Virginia (UVa) OpenGrounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, are pleased to announce the U.S. East Coast reprise of the award-winning telematic opera Auksalaq. The performance features the EcoSono Ensemble as well as other performers interacting with audiences through telematic technology. Audience members are invited to bring their laptops, tablets, and smartphones to the performance to participate in the opera narrative.


Auksalaq web site >
UVA Today Press Release >
National Geographic article >

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The narrative of Auksalaq incorporates fragmented and conflicting perspectives about the state of climate change as experienced in Alaska and the Arctic. These accounts, portrayed in the form of a scientific commentary and interviews with people of the region, are woven into a story about change in the far north. The music expresses interlocking environmental forces as eco-musical forms, expressing the profound changes in the ice-flows of Arctic waters. The media presents vivid imagery of Arctic land, sea and sky, as well as scientific data and animation. An interactive audience-participation software called NOMADS enables engagement with the performance in real-time across all the stages.


changed plans
The Superstorm Sandy forced 2 of the scheduled 7 world-wide venues to cancel the premier performance of Auksalaq, multi-site, interactive opera about climate-change. Matthew Burtner wrote "We live in a time of catastrophic climate shifts and it is increasingly the case that weather will disrupt events around the world. If anything, this cancellation of our venues makes the point of Auksalaq more present and powerful..." and Auksalaq producer Scott Deal wrote, "I cannot help but see the irony of this event... an opera premier on climate change affected by a physical characteristic that scientists have been warning us about for years: increasingly erratic and extreme weather. A prophetic birth if there ever was one."

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