Imagine a beach – you within it, or better: watching from above – the burning sun, sunscreen and bright bathing suits and sweaty palms and legs. Tired limbs sprawled lazily across a mosaic of towels. Imagine the occasional squeal of children, laughter, the sound of an ice cream van in the distance. The musical rhythm of waves on the surf, a soothing sound (on this particular beach, not elsewhere). The crinkling of plastic bags whirling in the air, their silent floating, jellyfish-like, below the waterline. The rumble of a volcano, or of an airplane, or a speedboat. Then a chorus of songs: everyday songs, songs of worry and of boredom, songs of almost nothing. And below them: the slow creaking of an exhausted Earth, a gasp.
A new opera-performance by filmmaker and director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, writer Vaiva Grainytė and artist and composer Lina Lapelytė, Sun & Sea (Marina) brings a varying cast of more than 20 participants and singers together for a durational installation/performance blurring the edges between fiction and reality and addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time.
Sun & Sea (Marina) takes place on an artificial beach composed through light, architecture and music. Vacationers in colourful bathing suits are lying next to each other on a sandy ground, while the audience observes them from above, as though from the point of view of the sun. In the heat of midday, characters begin telling their stories. Frivolous micro-stories slowly give rise to broader, more serious topics and grow into a global symphony, a universal human choir addressing planetary-scale, anthropogenic climate change. In the work, the physical finitude and fatigue of the human body becomes a metonym for an exhausted Earth. The setting—a crowded beach in summer—paints an image of laziness and lightness. In this context, the message follows suit: serious topics unfold easily, softly—like a pop song on the very last day on Earth.
An ecological play at its very core, Sun & Sea (Marina) concerns itself with the way in which we—our human species—consistently fails to recognise those planetary-scale threats and urgencies we ourselves are the cumulative cause of.
This is the second opera-performance by the award-winning trio, after the highly acclaimed, internationally touring opera, Have a Good Day!
Daisy Hildyard is a novelist and academic. Hildyard has a PhD on early-modern scientific literature. Her first novel, Hunters in the Snow received the Somerset Maugham Award and a ‘5 under 35’ honorarium at the USA National Book Awards. She currently runs a research project on animals and fiction at Northumbria University, and is working on a novel about nonhuman forms of life. Her latest book, The Second Body, is an essay on the Anthropocene.
Lithuanian Council for Culture
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
Nida Art Colony of Vilnius Academy of Arts
Vilnius Academy of Arts
Marina Militare, Arsenale di Venezia
Catalogue and vinyl supported by:
Nicoletta Fiorucci Russo
Lewben Art Foundation
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
David Roberts Art Foundation
Kaunas LEZ Management Company
Panevezio statybos trestas (PST)
Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art
Vilnius Coding School
Gabija Grušaitė & Justas Janauskas
Lina & Tomas Kučinskai
Dione Ice Cream
Nicoletta Fiorucci Russo
Kristina Spalveters & Vaidas Grincevičius
Global Lithuanian Leaders