Mary Lin & Ben Sargent over at Inventing Earth have stumbled upon an idea that i personally think is pure genius. A Steampunk Opera!
Called Queen Victoria’s Floating Garden of Secrets and Natural Wonders: and Prometheus Petrobust, a Play Within a Play (it’s 2 operettas in 1) it looks to be a very quinessential steampunk themed opera, one that corresponds much more closely to what you think a steampunk opera would be like.
The music is inspired by Gilbert and Sullivan, which IS the quinessential Victorian music.
The idea is: “Set on the HMS Annelid, a discovery ship in the spirit of Charles Darwin’s HMS Beagle intermarried with Jules Verne’s Nautilus, this operetta surfs 19th-century science, history, and geography in a spirited and a times salacious romp on the high seas worthy of Gilbert and Sullivan, with touches of Terry Gilliom and Euripides adding high colour.”
The plot: “In this alternate future, the Thirteen Colonies have seen the error their ways and reunited with their fair queen. All of creation is “subject” to inquiry. The opera takes place during a Inspection by the Queene on the Annelid’s return from a Homeric and triumphant exploration of far-flung corners of the map, loaded down with newly discovered, exotic specimens. Pirate lasses mutiny, womenfolk can’t keep their petticoats down, contraptions impressively malfunction, and frank discussions of anatomy are all in a day’s work while in service to Her Majesty the Queen.”
Their website is here.
There is no example of the music contained within, but here is an example of their music from another unrelated work:
So what do i think?
I think it’s great and i think their idea sounds like a blast. It definitely more true to the steampunk idea than my darker, frankenstein monster is. Our 2 ideas, styles and music are not connected in any manner. The only thing in common is that we’re creating 2 completely different take on the idea of “a steampunk opera” which is a fascinating study in observing how 2 completely different artists approach the same vague idea.
I wish them extraordinary success and look forward to seeing their work in 2012.