Behold Al Gore, Operatic Inspiration

Behold Al Gore, journalist and author, former vice president, film star, investment banker, tobacco farmer, chick magnet, scientist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and . . . operatic inspiration? Yes, indeed.

From E&E News (subscription only, so no hot link):

Climatologist David Adamson stood alone onstage. A film featuring images of the Earth appeared on a screen behind him. He spoke directly to the audience, laying out the case that climate change threatens civilization as we know it.

“Greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, chlorofluorocarbons and methane, produced by modern industry and the modern way of life, are causing the Earth’s climate to heat up with potentially devastating consequences for the future,” Adamson said. “And we now know, because of these human activities, especially the burning of fossil fuels, that carbon dioxide has been emitted into the atmosphere in increasing amounts for over 150 years.”

This is the opening scene of a new climate change-themed opera that just concluded a three-week run at Milan’s La Scala theater. Director Giorgio Battistelli said the composition, titled “CO2,” was inspired by former Vice President Al Gore’s 2006 climate change documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

CO2, we are told, is the first time in the history of opera that a climate scientist is featured as the main character. Also the last is my guess.

If you can stand it, there’s a website for the production, and you can take in the libretto (PDF file) for this magnificent production, including such gems as:

The Earth is sick!
Gaia, the Earth is sick!
From the fever of poisoned air,
From the effect of greenhouse gases;

She suffers from “desertification”,
As if her vegetable skin has dried up; She is sick From the gradual increase of the cities, Spreading like a cancer,
And the spiralling density of her populations!

The climax of this certain classic takes place at the 1997 UN climate conference in Kyoto, where someone actually has to sing this (in Italian):

The Parties included in Annex 1 shall, individually or jointly, ensure that their aggregate anthropogenic carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of the greenhouse gases listed in Annex A do not exceed their assigned amounts…

I’m sure it sounds better sung in Italian, though why this isn’t performed in Esperanto should be a subject of indignation. There’s more, including a paean to snakes (!), and the implication that the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami could be linked to climate change. I’d say that the climatistas have graduated from shark-jumping to whale-jumping, but that will only inspire a revised opera with lyrics about how sharks and whales are especially imperiled. . .