Klingon opera prepares for interstellar debut

Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:13am EDT
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THE HAGUE (Reuters) - DaHjaj 'oH Qaq jaj vaD bI'reS.

No, your screen is not broken -- that, for the uninitiated, is how one says "Today is a good day for opera" in Klingon.

The invented language, spoken first by the fictional aliens of the "Star Trek" universe and later embraced by humans worldwide, is now being put to use in an opera making its debut on Friday in the Dutch city of The Hague.

Opera is a cornerstone of the Klingon culture that is a major part of the "Star Trek" canon, which led to the creation of the show "U" (which means universe or universal).

"The Klingon are known as passionate opera lovers but at the same time very little was known about Klingon opera here so as far as I was concerned that was a very interesting challenge to try and make an authentic, or as authentic something out of that as possible," creator Floris Schonfeld told Reuters Television.

The 90-minute show tells the story of Kahless the Unforgettable, said to be the first Klingon emperor. Tickets for the show's three-day run at the Zeebelt Theater, which has just under 100 seats, were still available as of Friday morning.

Audiences at Thursday night's preview show were impressed.

"It was really well interpreted, the music was really good, and the performance of the actors were fantastic," Dutch Klingon Erwin Slegers said.

The "real" Klingon people have also been invited to see the show, via a message sent through a radio telescope in April to their home star, Arcturus.

As it will take the message 36 years to reach them, however, they are not expected to make Friday's debut or performances later this month in Frankfurt.

(Reporting by Reuters Television, writing by Ben Berkowitz, editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>A Klingon mask used as a prop from the television series "Star Trek" sits on display during a preview of the auction "40 Years of Star Trek: The Collection" at Christie's auction house in New York September 29, 2006. REUTERS/Keith Bedford</p>