Opera premiere for the little ones about Charles Darwin.
"Can Worms Hear?"
A newly written children's opera that takes us right into Charles Darwin's laboratory and makes us sharpen our senses to the mysteries of nature is now presented by the Danish Chamber Players and opera singer Sten Byriel in the role of Darwin. It is probably the first time in music history that you can experience an entire opera about worms!
The whole family is welcome to the public premiere of the children's opera "Can Orme Høre?" on 9 December at 15.30 in KUMUS at Fuglsang. The opera lasts approx. 40 minutes and the café in KUMUS is open afterwards. During December, the work will be played for children in 3rd grade throughout the Storstrøm Cultural Region.
The children are inspired to listen to and perhaps try to understand nature through Darwin's experiments with earthworms.
The creators behind the ambitious work are director, librettist and mastermind Bent Nørgård and composer Niels Marthinsen. They have previously written an acclaimed all-night opera for adults about Charles Darwin and were inspired by the material to delve into Darwin's experiments and convey it to children.
Maj Kullberg, head of the Danish Chamber Players, says that in these years the ensemble has a special focus on nature in the programming for both children and adults. The ensemble wants to sharpen the sensibility towards nature, so that we feel we are part of it, through commissions of new works, collaborations with writers such as Josefine Klougart and composers and with digital "Sound Walks" in nature. "With an opera about worms, about which operas have certainly never been written before, we are experimenting with getting the children to listen and sense nature. Before the opera is performed for school children, they have worked on the subject in the classes, where we have teaching material that combines music with science. They can build worm hotels, e.g. or get to know the instruments of the ensemble. For us, it has been a fun challenge to use this topic in a performance.”
About the opera:
"Can worms hear" zooms right in on one of the world's greatest and most important naturalists, the Englishman Charles Darwin. He was deeply fascinated by the earthworms, these small insignificant creatures which have such a great importance for life on earth. Darwin spent 34 years of his life understanding and describing their life below and above the earth's surface. But even though the protagonist of the concert opera is an elderly, world-famous scientist, there is no difference between his and a child's fascination with nature, its beauty and mystery. In this way, the work comes at eye level with the 9-12-year-olds, who are the work's core audience.
With "Can worms hear" you are invited right into Darwin's exciting study. Between beautiful classical musical instruments and bookshelves filled with earthworms in boxes, Darwin tests whether the worms have hearing. He also has his beloved friend, a clever turtle, Sjelle, with him for these tests.
Darwin uses the music. Faint sounds from the whistle. Powerful shouts from the ensemble. Fabulous sounds from the bassoon and the vibrating strings of the harp make serious scientific studies naturally merge with music and drama. It creates a very special and unique musical expression that must be experienced and felt.
With the help of the orchestra, Darwin finally finds the answer to his scientific question. An answer which shall not be revealed here. But then the turtle intervenes again with quite a challenge. It will know if the great scientist can hear the music of the worms. The music of the worms? Darwin is shaken, but he begins to listen. Does he hear something? What do you think, dear audience? If you want the answer, you must listen to "Can worms hear".
"Can worms hear" is not only about how we as humans can understand nature - it also raises the question of whether we are able to listen to it.
The opera is supported by Kulturregion Storstrøm, the Danish Composers' Association and the Statens Kunstfond.
Tickets costs DKK 25 and is sold via ensemblet.dk