The Edge of Forever
Friday, December 21, 2012 at 8:30 PM (PST)
The Edge of Forever, a chamber operetta inspired by the ending of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, will premiere on the fated day of December 21, 2012 at the historic Philosophical Research Society, a Mayan Revival architecture style building in Los Angeles. The Edge of Forever is written and directed by Elizabeth Cline with music by Lewis Pesacov.
Laakan, ancient astronomer: Ashley Faatoalia
Choir of Scribes: Jessica Basta, Tany Ling, Christine Morse, Argenta Walther
Music will be performed by LA-based ensemble wild up conducted by Christopher Rountree
Predictions for 2012 as the “end of the world” misinterpret Mayan cosmology. The Maya civilization is best known for its sophisticated interlocking calendric cycles used to weave together the past and future as mirrored by the repetition of phenomena in the natural world. As advanced astronomers, the Maya studied celestial events to predict precise intervals of time, forming the basis for their Long Count Calendar. The count begins at their creation date of August 11, 3114 BC and ends on December 21, 2012. The most fundamental aspect of the Mayan belief structure is that time is without end or beginning; the end of one cycle simply allows for the dawn of the next. The Maya did not believe in fatalistic endings, rather they believed each cycle could bring about a shift in energy or a change in consciousness. The Edge of Forever examines this moment of transition and posits the possibility for a transformation in our universe and cosmic vision. Like these great cycles, love is infinite and not bound by time. While The Edge of Forever will be performed in our time, the story, like the Mayan calendar, stretches infinitely far into the past and future.
Set in the legendary world of the Mayan Yucatán Peninsula, The Edge of Forever tells the epic tale of two people destined to be together and the timeless nature of love. An ancient astronomer has been chosen by the gods to fulfill a prophecy which foretells a profound unity that will bring about the next great cycle. To realize his destiny he must abandon all for love and dwell in a cave beneath the sacred cenote—a deep, naturally formed pit of water employed for rituals and ceremonies. There he waits for untold cycles of time to be united with his beloved, whose fate is to manifest before him at the dawn of the new cycle. As told in the ancient texts and astronomy, their unity will be the catalyst for a new age of human consciousness.
The audience enters the opera in Act III, at the present moment in time on December 21, 2012—a moment in time that has been recorded in stone since the 9th century. The first two acts have taken place at some point in the past. The opera is staged as an immersive experience that begins with a procession of chorus members leading the audience into the theater with their voices. Once inside, the audience is immediately transported to the cenote where the action is already taking place. Smoldering copal incense fills the scene, where an impressionistic set of the cave reveals the shadows of sky and water. The ancient astronomer, bathed in blue-green light, circles the stage in a deeply meditative state. He is costumed in a linen tunic with jade mantle, plumed headdress, and arm and leg ornaments of iridescent feathers. He is surrounded by his offerings: gold jewelry, copper bells, obsidian arrows, bright orange pottery, and ornaments of bone and shell. His incantation, simple and elemental, invokes love and his destiny. The audience is plunged into the ritual and tension of the moment just before the lovers will be united. The opera ends here in this moment of final anticipation, open and without end.
The Edge of Forever is scored for a single tenor singer, a chorus of four female voices, and an eclectic ensemble comprised of two conch shell trumpets, woodwinds, strings, various standard and non-traditional percussion, and features eight sine tone oscillators played through a mixing board. Oscillators, originally designed and manufactured as electronic test instruments, generate pure tones at a wide range of frequencies; in this opera the composer uses the oscillators like a deconstructed synthesizer. The musical influences for The Edge of Forever include the European avant garde New Music tradition, ancient music and tuning systems, sound healing practices of the Californian New Age movement, and Spiritual/Free jazz from the 1960s and 1970s.
Read more on our website: http://theedgeofforever2012.com/
What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?
Additional Parking at John Marshall High School: 3939 Tracy Street, Los Angeles, CA 90027