One-Act Opera Production
Journey to the Center of the Youniverse
Journey to the Center of the Youniverse is a journey of wonder through a series of encounters from massive to molecular scale. Starting as an old man, the galactic explorer Youlisees transforms himself into a young boy who experiences life on a planet called Humania for the first time. The audience travels with him to discover the challenges of a world that is sometimes domineering and cruel and at other times liberating. Following an alluring song from the outset of his journey, Youlisees finally comes to realize that at the heart of the world is the spinning beauty of nothingness.
The drama of the storyline is a character development for everyone. The Opera is attractive to a wide audience, particularly as there is a child chorus and the adventure of travel and awe appeals to adults and children alike. The philosophy at the core of the Opera, which is the revelation of the mysterious beauty of the void can be read at many levels, both intriguing and fascinating.
This project is based on the novel Journey to the Center of the Youniverse by author by G.N. Idrah, AKA Douglas Edison Harding (12 February 1909 – 11 January 2007). Harding was an English philosophical writer, mystic, spiritual teacher and author of a number of additional books, including On Having No Head, Zen and the Rediscovery of the Obvious.. In 1943, aged 34, after ten years of self-enquiry, study and writing, Harding had decided he was made of 'layers'. What he was depended on the range of the observer. As a result of his studies, Harding was convinced that he was human only at a certain range. Closer to, he saw himself as cellular, molecular, atomic. At very close range, therefore, he saw himself as almost nothing. It made sense to him therefore that at centre he was a mysterious 'nothingness'. In 1943, he looked back at himself and noticed that from his own point of view he was headless. He was looking not out of two eyes but a 'single eye', a boundless openness – an openness that was self-evidently aware, and was also full of the whole world. Here was direct experience of his central identity, his True Self. No longer did he have to rely on speculation.
Youlisees, tenor: A wise and old traveler who travels through time
Boy soprano: The young Youlisees
Douglas, dancer : The Cat, that follows Youlisees enigmatically throughout
Alicia, soprano: The mysterious singer, Youlisees' muse
Dr. Manley, bass: Evil Scientist of Humania
Lady w/a Bun, mezzo: Evil Scientists of Humania
Wormwolf, dancer: Personification of negative cosmic force, Youlisees' archenemy
●Outer Space introduction
Starts with Alicia song, the old traveler, Youlisees wakes from a dream. (Projections of outer space).
Youlisees shares his awe and sense of the vast Universe.
Wormwolf, a mythological character representing the forces of conflict arrives on stage and threatens to destroy the balance of the Universe. Douglas, the cat, escapes and finds a way towards our Solar System. Youlisees follows.
●Clinic. Projections of clinic.
Youlisees, as the old man lands on Humania and meets Dr.Manley and the Lady with the Bun. A 12 year old appears from within Youlisees’scape, as a younger doppleganger, and is subjected to examination by the sadistic scientific duo. The contradictions of an infinite consciousness struggle against the small-mindedness of petty Humania.
●Library. Projections of library.
The 12 year old boy learns about the true scale of things not just geographically with maps but also the inner dimensions of emotions and beyond. The children’s chorus interacts with young Youlisees and the Lady with the Bun.
●Observatory Projections of observatory.
The young Youlisees rises up to the Observatory to realise with his own vision how everything is connected at all scales. The 12 year old boy turns back into Youlisees.
●Garden Projections of garden.
Wormolf takes on the form of a “Mr.Nicholas” and tempts Youlisees to accept a turbulent and yet seductive view of reality. Youliseesrejects it.
●The Clear Center Projections of molecular universe.
Youlisees finds the source of Alicia’s song and meets Alicia, as he follows a journey into the Micro-Universe.
(Please listen to Music Demo of Alicia’s Song) The End