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Sun & Sea, climate change opera, Lift 2022
Photo by Richard Termine

A durational climate change opera will be staged on a pop-up Deptford beach next summer

‘Sun & Sea’ is the first show announced for LIFT 2022

Andrzej Lukowski
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski

Hugely acclaimed climate change opera ‘Sun & Sea’ took the top prize – that’s the Golden Lion FYI – at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which is pretty much the fanciest arts prize in the entire world.

That year’s national entry from Lithuania, the show – created by an all-female team of composer Lina Lapelytė, librettist Vaiva Grainytė and director Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė – is performed on an artificial beach, and sees a group of 24 performers get up to typical jolly beach activities; it appears mundane at first, but becomes more disturbing as you focus on the singing: surreal, menacing arias (in English) about loneliness and the devastating effects of climate change on the planet. It’s only about 60 minutes long, but is performed on loop for hours at a time, a haunting manifestation of our messed up relationship with our planet.

If that sounds like a lot to get your head around: well sure, but fortunately it’s coming to London, so you can see for yourself. It’s the very first show announced for LIFT 2022, aka the London International Festival of Theatre, an exciting announcement that already goes some way to make up for the disappointment at the cancellation of LIFT 2020 (for the obvious reasons).

An artificial beach will be created inside the Albany arts centre in Deptford and will host ‘Sun & Sea’ for several weeks over the summer. Details of an on-sale date and the rest of the LIFT 2022 programme will be announced in the spring.

‘Sun & Sea’ is at the Albany, Jun 23-Jul 10 2023. For more about LIFT go here.

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