3A LOGO__BLACK LETTERS-03.png

A new-wave vernacular opera for the 21st century…

 
 
EARTH -A.D.2016-

The United States, Russia, and China are caught in a 21st-century space race, each vying to be the first nation to put an explorer on the surface of Mars.

The thrilling story ensues as humanity races toward the unknown …

 

Follow three astronauts as they evolve from competitors to allies, explore their common humanity, and reach across an abyss of differences as they Address the question...

 
20star.gif
russian.png
download.png
AMERICAN.png
 
china-flag.jpg

ANTICIPATED PREMIERES

MOSCOW

NEW YORK

BEIJING

 

MEET OUR TEAM


AUTHORS

 
eco.jpg

UMBERTO ECO

Author

One of the most prolific and important writers of our time, Eco has traveled the world lecturing on the untranslatability of languages. His novels include The Name of the RoseFoucault’s PendulumThe Island of the Day BeforeThe Mysterious Flame of Queen LoanaBaudolino, and current worldwide bestseller The Prague Cemetery. Nonfiction works include Travels in HyperrealityHistory of BeautyBelief or Nonbelief?, and Theory of Semiotics. He teaches at the University of Bologna.

carmi-470x260.jpg

EUGENIO CARMI

Artist – Visual Concept

Known as one of the most quietly significant forces in twentieth-century Italian art, Carmi was born in Genoa in 1920. He created Italsider’s corporate image in the 1960’s, has participated in the Venice Bienniale, and created experimental visual programs for RAI-TV. In 2015, ‘Palazzo Ducale Fondazione per la Cultura’ presents a retrospective of his work Speed Limit 40 in Genoa, Italy. A bellwether of Italian taste, he may be most beloved for his collages in a series of picture books created in collaboration with friend and author Umberto Eco, one of which is the inspiration for this opera, The Three Astronauts.


CONCEPT & DIRECTION

GRETHE B. HOLBY

Founder & Executive Artistic Director, Ardea Arts

“Propelling opera into the 21st century” (NPR), Holby has directed, choreographed, performed, & collaborated on world premieres at The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Festival, Houston Grand Opera, La Scala (Milan), The Kitchen, and for opera companies from Anchorage to Boston, Los Angeles to Washington D.C. She performed in major opera houses across Europe, and the Metropolitan Opera House, and has collaborated with legendary artists as diverse as Leonard Bernstein, Lou Reed, and Yusef Komunyakaa. A Rockefeller Fellowship recipient, she holds B.S. and Master degrees from MIT, and was invited to the MSL launch at KSC in 2011.


TEAM CHINA

Ye_Xiaogang.jpg

YE XIAOGANG

Composer – China

Regarded as one of the most influential composers in China, Ye’s piano concerto Starry Sky premiered at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 by Lang Lang and was watched by three billion people worldwide. Ye is a standing member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, vice chairman of China’s Musicians’ Association, vice president and professor of composition of the Central Conservatory of Music, and artistic director of Beijing Modern Music Festival. His Twilight of the Himalayas premiered earlier this year at Avery Fisher Hall with the Detroit Symphony.

Liu_Sola.jpg

LIU SOLA

Writer for the Chinese Taikonaut

Award-winning Chinese author of fiction, short stories, and essays including You Have No Choice (1985), Small Tales of the Great Ji Family (2000), and Chaos and All That, Sola Liu is also an iconoclastic composer and vocalist. Librettist of operas Fantasy of the Red Queen (2006) and The Afterlife of Li Jiantong (2009), she has collaborated with Three Astronauts composer Ye Xiaogang many times. She has scored many Chinese and international film sound tracks, as well as TV and drama productions and composed music for orchestra, ensemble, opera, modern theater, modern dance, and art exhibitions.


TEAM RUSSIA

Alexander_Tschaikowsky_01.jpg

ALEXANDER TCHAYKOVSKIY

Composer – Russia

Heralded as the ‘Beloved People’s Artist of Russia and the Russian Federation’ and ‘Artist of Merit’ Winner is composer, he is the director of the Saint Petersburg Conservatoire, the Moscow Academic Philharmonic, and the Youth Academy of Russia festival. His music is widely performed at international festivals and concert halls. In addition to his symphonies, oratorios, ballets and choral works, he has composed over eight operas including the extraordinary One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, based on Solzhenitsin’s novel. His oeuvre also spans popular songs and music for television and movies.

gluhovskiy4.jpg

DMITRY GLUKHOVSKY

Writer for the Russian Cosmonaut

Dmitry is known for his publications involving science fiction, magic-realism, and the exploration of social and political structures. His first novel, Metro 2033 (2002), became an online interactive experiment and video game, and best seller around the world. In 2009, Metro 2034 became the year’s top Russian bestseller, and also a collaborative art project with electronic and visual artists. 2010 saw the satirical Stories about Motherland, and 2014 rolled out Future:Roman. Glukhovsky is also a journalist for EuroNews TVDeutsche WelleRTHarper’s Bazaar, and l’Officiel.


TEAM U.S.A.

komunyakaa1.jpg

YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA

Writer for the American Astronaut

Pulitzer Prize winning poet, author of 17 books of poetry, and winner of the William Faulkner Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award, and the 20ll Wallace Stevens Award, among others, Komunyakaa’s plays, performance art and libretti have been performed internationally and include SlipnotSaturnaliaGilgamesh: a Verse Play (with Chad Garcia), and the jazz opera Testimony, A Tribute to Charlie Parker. A Vietnam veteran, he has held professorships at Princeton University, and currently in the Graduate Creative Writing Program at New York University.

3A LOGO__BLACK LETTERS-03.png
 

To Be Announced

Composer – United States of America


TEAM MARS

DANIEL L. EVERETT

Writer, Linguist, Anthropologist – Mars

One of the only people in the world who has contacted previously un-contacted groups with no language in common, he is an anthropologist, field linguist, and Dean of Arts & Sciences at Bentley University. Everett has over 40 years of experience working with more than 25 undocumented languages of North and South America. His 2008 book, Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes was published in six languages, and his 2012, book Language: The Cultural Tool has redefined linguistic assumptions.


PRODUCTION TEAM

JOHN KENNEDY

Project Music Director

Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities for Spoleto Festival USA, Kennedy is noted for illuminating, expressive performances of contemporary music and opera, Kennedy presented premiere productions of Matsukaze (Toshio Hosokawa), Kepler (Philip Glass), and Faustus, the Last Night (Pascal Dusapin), in 2014, Michael Nyman’s Facing Goya at Spoleto as well as at the Singapore International Festival of Arts. With organizations ranging from the Lincoln Center Festival to New York City Ballet, Kennedy has led noted performances of orchestral, opera, ballet, and new music.


CHILDREN’S CHORUS LYRICS

Umberto_Eco_04.jpg

UMBERTO ECO

Chorus Lyrics

See bio above.

Nikki_Giovanni.jpg

NIKKI GIOVANNI

Chorus Lyrics

A world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator, Giovanni is committed to the fight for civil rights and equality. Currently distinguished professor of English Professor at Virginia Tech, she is the author of over 30 books for both adults and children, including Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea and Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat. A recipient of twenty-five honorary degrees, her awards include the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry.


CONSULTANTS

    Laurence Bergreen – Author: Voyage to Mars: NASA’s Search for Life Beyond Earth

    Joan Horvath – Planetary Spacecraft; National University, Science Literacy

    Aaron Lewis – Senior Director & Space Technologies Expert at Arianespace, a Paris-based company

    Neal L. Singh – Sloan-Foundation-award-winning science teacher, LaGuardia Arts HS, NYC

    Andrea Fellows Walters – Director of Education & Community Programs, Santa Fe Opera

    Educational Component: STE(A)M

    Science, Technology, Engineering, (Arts,) and Math


    Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts is a high school specializing in teaching visual arts and performing arts, situated near Lincoln Center, New York City.

    Under the mentorship of Neal L. Singh, a Sloan-Award-winning Earth and Environmental Science Teacher at LaGuardia Arts HS, and Grethe Barrett Holby, MIT graduate and director/conceiver of the “The Three Astronauts” opera, a special after-school tutorial was offered to Advanced Placement (AP) Earth Science high school students, all of whom were majoring in the arts.

    The students read the script of the opera, discussed what surprised them, and made a list of questions they had. Among them were:

    • Routes to Mars. Is there really more than one route to get to Mars? What are they? And why? 
    • Severe Solar Storms. Would a solar flare really take out communications to Earth? Why? How? 
    • Space Junk. The issue of orbital debris surrounding Earth. Directly outside of our home planet floats a dense layer of space junk. What is being done?
    • Colors on Mars. Sunsets and sunrises on Mars offer a different palette of colors from those on Earth.

    The group as a whole decided which questions to research and turn their findings into video tutorials for other students. They broke into teams to make two videos (below). They also built a mobile app—“Occupy Mars,” aka “MarsArts”—to share their videos, questions, and research.

    Ms. Holby then shared these videos and the App at the ISPCS conference in 2015.
     

    Here are the videos they made:

    And here are some photos of the students working on the project:


    The workshop was then followed by a presentation for the school, which included a 15-minute sneak preview of the opera with three professional singers, and a chorus of the vocal major students. The videos were presented to the student body by the Workshop Team.  


    Testimonials from the Team


    “The Mars Project was a dream come true for an educator!

    I was allowed to work with a group of talented, artistic, and intelligent students who had completed my course the year before. Working with the impressive and accomplished artistic director Grethe Barrett Holby was inspiring. She guided us through a process that led to the perfect marriage between the arts and sciences. Students were motivated and devoted to this educational opportunity that allowed them to continue scientific inquiry and apply it to their studio arts. This was a priceless collaboration that I hope to continue here at LaGuardia High School.”

    Neal L. Singh
    AP Environmental Science Teacher

     

    “This year I was allowed to use my art to support my passion for science.

    The Mars Project allowed me to work with esteemed artist and intellect, Grethe Barrett Holby. Ms. Holby supported our mission to create educational videos that reached a wide audience.  I was able to use my ability as an artist to inform an arts audience of the facts behind space travel. This project allowed me to bridge my high school education with the professional world that has been priceless.”

    Emily Dinkelaker
    Senior Art Major
    LaGuardia High School
     

    “Through this project I was able to perform in a professional opera workshop while also expanding my love of science. As a vocal major, this experience allowed me to work with professional opera singers and the amazing opera artistic director Grethe Barrett Holby. I was able to research a topic in science that I am fascinated by in creating the app for this project. Grethe was a great guide and support. She was always able to point us in the right direction with this project and I hope one day to be working with Grethe on a professional level.

    I will always treasure this learning and growing experience.”


    Alexandra Kyriakides
    Senior Vocal Major
    LaGuardia High School


    Upcoming Workshop — Fall Semester 2018

    Mr. Singh is currently Vice Principal of Science at Brooklyn High School for the Arts. He decided to bring The Three Astronauts STEAM workshop to his students there in Fall 2018. We are incredibly excited to be working with him again, and intrigued to see what the new team comes up with!


     

    CREATIVE TEAM INTERVIEWS

     

    LIBRETTO WORKSHOP

    LIBRETTO READING NYC 6.27.14

    ISPCS SNEAK PREVIEW PRESENTATION

    LAGUARDIA HIGH SCHOOL SNEAK PREVIEW PRESENTATION


    KEEP UP WITH THE 3A

    INVITING PARTNERS FOR

    Development Phase & Premiere Consortium

    ARDEA ARTS INC.

    463 Broome Street
    New York, NY 10013