Wikipedia-inspired opera containing graphic sexual description to make London debut
Hear an extract of 'Light from Life' below
A controversial new opera featuring graphic descriptions of sex will make its debut in two weeks’ time at a London church venue.
Spanish composer Toni Castells' new piece, Light from Life, is a vivid form of sex education taking its verse word for word from Wikipedia’s descriptions of sexual intercourse and family planning.
It will be performed at the Union Chapel in Islington on 15 November.
A soaring aria contains the following line: “The erect penis of the male is inserted into the female's vagina until the male ejaculates semen which contains sperm, into the female's vagina."
Castells has risked the wrath of more conservative opera-goers with his unusual piece, billed on the Union Chapel’s website as “an exploration of what it means to be human on planet Earth” and of “the miracle of life and the extraordinarily beautiful process of evolution”.
“Opera has always been a musical art form that has always taken risks,” Castells said, citing Alban Berg’s 1038 Lulu and Thomas Ades’s Powder Her Face (1995) as examples.
He admits he has “clearly ruffled some of the feathers within the very formal opera world”, but he adds: “Opera has always been a genre of provocation and full emotion, an art form that should always take risks, evolve and create controversy.”
The composer, 36, who has been compared to Vangelis and Karl Jenkins, has also been described as “Massive Attack meets Mendelssohn” .
His contemporary arrangements, which he produces with collective Momo live, intertwine electro pop and other commercial genres of music with classical. Performances are set against a backdrop of digital art.
He was classically trained from the age of five playing guitar, piano and clarinet in youth orchestras. Aged 12 he formed a pop/rock band called Korrefok, later known as Herzia, whose 1999 album “Coses que Passen” was very influential in Spain.
Castells said he is in talks with “mainstream theatres” about staging Light from Life again.
“If we can knock down any pre-conceived walls that exist within opera and the general public of the genre being in anyway elitist and the domain of the upper classes, then we will be revolutionising the opera world as well as helping to educate even further the masses when it comes to subjects such as family planning and safe sex,” he said.
Life from Life, 15 November, Union Chapel
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove