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IUPUI to host world premiere of award-winning opera on climate change

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October 11, 2012

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Musicians gathered at venues around the world and connected via high bandwidth Internet will simultaneously perform an award-winning telematic opera created by composer Matthew Burtner of the University of Virginia and producer Scott Deal, professor of music and arts technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The world premiere for “Auksalaq,” a multimedia opera about climate change, will take place Oct. 29 on stages in the United States, Canada and Norway. In Indiana, the performance takes place at 5 p.m. in the IUPUI Campus Center Theater, 420 University Blvd. Tickets are $10 each.

Appropriately bearing the Inupiat word for “melting snow/ice” as its title, the opera provides an in-depth journey into the rapidly changing arctic regions of Alaska and Canada.

Burtner and Deal’s work integrates artistic expression, scientific information and social/political commentary into an interactive, multidimensional collection of narratives that provide a stirring and sobering commentary on a world that is rapidly changing as a result of global climate change.

In October 2011, Internet2 presented its Driving Exemplary Applications Award to Burtner and Deal for their creation of “Auksalaq,” which was described as “the single best and most important realization of meaningful opera for today’s world.”

Other U.S. performance venues Oct. 29 will include The Phillips Collection in Washington D.C.; Lu Magnus Gallery in New York City; and the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks. Musicians for the U.S. performances include Telematic Collective, a group of graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the Department of Music and Arts Technology at IUPUI.