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The Art of Venus 

a new chamber opera 

RADA Studio Theatre   Thursday 10 August 2017 at 21:20 

as part of the Tête à Tête Opera Festival 2017

The Art of Venus

The global search has begun for the first humans to set foot on Mars and make it their home. In 2032, as the spacecraft hurtles through space, humanity holds its breath… can the planet be colonised? But will Venus take it lying down? A short, post-baroque opera about the power of the gods - and a myth waiting to happen.

Contains adult themes

Venus  Kate Symonds-Joy (mezzo-soprano)

Mars  Samuel Oram (baritone)

Soprano Earthling  Helen Bailey

Tenor Earthling  Daniel Joy

Bass Earthling  Christopher Foster

Music  Edward Lambert

Text  Max Waller

Conductor Olivia Clarke

Director  Rebecca Meltzer

Accordion Bartosz Glowacki

Marimba  Matthew Farthing

Violin Maria Fiore Mazzarini

Cello Tom Isaac

Mars & Venus

Mars, the all-powerful Roman warrior-god, lover of Venus, the embodiment of love and sexuality: what's happening to these celebs in the 21st century?

Art as pornography? 

In 1914, a prominent suffragette took a meat cleaver to the painting in the National Gallery known as the Rokeby Venus and repeatedly slashed it. Contemporary reports describe the “cruel” wounds inflicted on it. Was this a feminist act?

Human Settlement on Mars 

"Mars One aims to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars. Several unmanned missions will be completed, establishing a habitable settlement before carefully selected and trained crews will depart to Mars. Mars One is a global initiative whose goal is to make this everyone’s mission to Mars, including yours. If we all work together, we can do this. We’re going to Mars. Come along!"

The Pale Blue Dot 

Carl Sagan pointed out that on that dot "every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives". The Overview Effect is a cognitive shift experienced by astronauts upon understanding the Earth to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, "hanging in the void". But feelings of euphoria can also lead to errors of judgment...