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Watch "U": The Real-Life Klingon Opera

From the premiere of ’u’ in 2010 (Source: Wikipedia)
It's long been a part of Star Trek lore that the Klingons love opera. It's almost inevitable that some persistent Trekker would create a real Klingon opera, and so they have.

This video is from "U," an opera created by Floris Schönfeld, formerly staged in the Netherlands. The opera tells the story of Klingon hero Kahless (founder of the Klingon empire) who journeys to the Underworld to recover the souls of his brother and father. In the process, he invents the iconic Klingon bat'leth weapon, and overthrows the ruthless tyrant Molor. The opera used original Klingon musical instruments and was sung entirely in Klingon. Anyone who attended the performance in Klingon costume got two tickets for the price of one.

According to Wikipedia:
Artistic and stage director and "head researcher" of the ’u’ project and the Klingon Terran Research Ensemble (KTRE), Floris Schönfeld, carefully researched all mentions and examples of Klingon opera in the various incarnations of Star Trek in order to make the opera as "authentic" as possible in following the conventions of Klingon battle opera. He created an "ancient treatise" called the paq'jachchu', or "book of the perfect scream", as a "theory manuscript of Klingon music". KTRE crafted "indigenous" Klingon musical instruments, including percussion, wind and strings, designed by Xavier van Wersch, to accompany the opera.

If you'd like a translation, this is from Redditor gloubenterder:
It's from 'u', Canto 12 (luqara' joH).
The Klingon on the left is Kahless (qeylIS), and the one on the right is Lukara (luqara').
In the beginning, Lukara is addressing the citizens of Qam-Chee (qamchIy):
"batlhna' 'agh SuvwI' boleghbogh." ("The warrior you see carries the essence of honor.")
"botlhejQo'. SuSuvQo'. vItlhejbej jIH." ("You refuse to join him. You refuse to fight. I for one will join him.")
Then she begins to sing. One line is repeated several time:
"Hur ghom'a' wIqaD." ("We shall face the hordes outside.")
Then she sings: "vaj jIHeghchugh tlhIngan yoH retlhDaq jIHegh 'ej batlh jIHegh." ("So that if I die, I will die beside a brave Klingon, and I will die with honor.") 
The the Master of Screams (jachchu'wI') comes out and introduces the battle of Qam-Chee.
Information from Haus der Kulturen der Welt and Trek Today. And yes, I know the Klingon makeup is pretty bad. They're not working with the budget for Phantom of the Opera, here.

UPDATE: Edited typos

[Via Reddit]

What do you think of "U"? Would you have purchased a ticket?

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  1. It would be interesting, but how on earth would you know what they were saying? Did the program guide translate?

    And I wonder if bringing my bat'leth with me would've counted as dressing up? (Yes, I do have one.)

  2. Sweet. I wouldn't understand it, but it wouldn't be much different than seeing an opera in French or Italian. You just enjoy the experience, and catch the occasional cue from what is going on.


Thanks for commenting!.