On the opening of the new Star Trek movie, I had to make sure you got your dose of Klingons. So here it is: Floris Schönfeld has written a Klingon Opera, which was performed at the Water Mill in New York. NPR did a story on it today and provided a link to the Klingon-Terran Research Ensemble.
It sounds pretty ridiculous, doesn’t it? I thought so, too. Then I started thinking about how this is one of those amazing things about art: that it can take inspiration from anywhere. No matter the source, if you can create something which speaks to some aspect of our humanity, it doesn’t matter what inspired it. Truth can come from surprising places, and we can find important insights into the patterns of life and interaction in all sorts of human creations, even (perhaps especially) in those created primarily to entertain. We shouldn’t reject something as not being meaningful, just because its source is unexpected or unorthodox. One of the reasons people love Star Trek itself is that it frequently grapples with meaningful human issues, even as it’s surrounded by rubber suit aliens and gobbledygook science. There’s no reason Klingon opera can’t do the same.
Then I watched some. I’ll admit, while I did think their exploration of sound and its qualities was interesting, I found it more than a little bit stilted…and kind of ridiculous.
On the other hand, I feel that way about most opera. Enjoy the new movie!