Klingon Opera in the Works
At one point, Paramount Pictures commissioned work on a Star Trek opera as part of the franchise’s 25th anniversary. Novelists Judy and Garwood Stevens were at work on a story when cooler heads prevailed and the project was shelved.
Now, Floris Schönfeld, from the Netherlands, has made it clear he’s at work on a Klingon Opera. The artist was recently profiled in The New York Times, one of 15 invited to come to Long Island for a two- to three-week residency at the Watermill Center.
“The Klingon opera Mr. Schönfeld is developing is called “ ’u’.” The apostrophes before and after the “u” are part of the title and are pronounced by Mr. Schönfeld like short coughs. The title, he said, stands for universe or universal.,” the Times wrote.
Part of his time in America will be spent on developing the opera’s storyline which the 26-year-old intends to write himself. He speaks English, German, Dutch and what “he calls ‘basic Klingon’ and began his project during the summer of 2007 as his master’s thesis at the Interfaculty ArtScience program, affiliated with the Royal Conservatory, in The Hague.”
He was drawn to the Klingon language, developed in the 1980s by linguist Marc Okrand, and subsequently founded the Klingon Terran Research Ensemble and worked with his friends on the opera. Several bits have been performed and recorded, available for viewing on their website without translation into English.
As part of his stay, Schönfeld will work with performers and present an improvisational glimpse of Klingon music. “We are humans making Klingon music,” he said, noting that they will not dress in Klingon garb.