GAIA-24: An opera about the destruction of the Kakhovka Dam will be shown in Kyiv

8 march, 2024

The opera prompts to think one of Russia's largest environmental crimes as a potential for restoring the natural landscape—the Earth's plea to humanity.

A video excerpt from the GAIA-24 opera. Source: facebook.com
The premiere of the opera GAIA-24, created by the composers of the NOVA OPERA formation, Ilya Razumeiko and Roman Hryhoriv, will take place in Kyiv on May 10, 2024. The work is based on the Gaia theory, which considers the Earth a superorganism capable of self-regulation.

The author of the Gaia theory, French philosopher and anthropologist Bruno Latour, died on October 9, 2022. His last text was the prehistory to the opera, about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In it, Latour compares Russian aggression to the “war of humanity against nature,” mentioning Sophocles' “Oedipus Rex” and “Europe in interregnum.”

GAIA-24 focuses on the explosion of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station by the Russians, which occurred on June 6, 2023. Through this act of genocide and ecocide, 18 billion cubic meters of water spilled into the Black Sea, destroying the Kakhovka reservoir. What was its bottom became a new landscape on the front line.

The attack on the Kakhovka Dam is one of Russia's most notable environmental crimes. At the same time, the authors of the opera consider its consequences as “liberating 2000 square meters of Dnipro soil from the seventy-year captivity of an artificial reservoir,” “regenerating the Cossack Amazonia,» and «the slow victory of nature and the swift defeat of man.
A video excerpt from the GAIA-24 opera. Source: bigkyiv.com.ua. Photo: Denys Melnyk. Artists: Yevhen Bal and Kateryna Hordiienko.
When the earth gives a bountiful harvest — a great war is imminent. When seas dry up, rivers change their course, and forests become uninhabitable due to radiation — the empire will soon fall. When the end of the world comes — the earth and the sky merge into one. This is how Gaia, Gea, Terra, Magna, Mother Gaia speaks to us... can we still hear what she is saying?” — asks the project team.

The opera consists of three acts: Songs of Mother Earth, Cabaret Metastasis, and Dance for Mother Earth. The organizers are the OPERA APERTA formation, the PORTO FRANKO festival, and the proto produkciia agency. Ilya Razumeiko and Roman Hryhoriv wrote the music and libretto and served as directors, playwrights, and scenographers. Video materials for the production were created in October 2023 on the southern and eastern coasts of Khortytsia Island.

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