Sun & Sea

One of the performative works at ARS22 will be Sun & Sea. Commenting on the current climate crisis, the immersive operatic work won the Golden Lion for the best pavilion at the Venice Biennale in summer 2019.

  • 10.8.–14.8.2022
  • 17.8.–21.8.2022
  • 24.8.–28.8.2022
Merikaapelihalli, The Cable Factory
Tickets: 32 / 27 €
Only with advance ticket. Discount admission: students, pensioners, unemployed, conscripts, non-military servicemen and women.

Songs of the climate crisis

Sun & Sea takes place on an artificial beach where sunbathers share stories and thoughts by singing.  

The main theme of the opera is concern for climate change. It focuses especially on the relationship between reality and poetry, and the overlap between theater, music, and the visual arts. 

Sun & Sea represented Lithuania at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, where it won the Golden Lion award for the Best National Participation.

Lyrics

1.

Sunscreen bosanova

I

Hand it here, I need to rub my legs…
‘Cause later they’ll peel and crack,
And chap.

Hand it I will rub you…
Otherwise, you’ll be red as a lobster…

Hand it I will rub you…

2.

Young man from the Volcano couple

I

I flew to a Portuguese corrida –
A short trip, just for fun.
But then the pilot had to land the plane in London:
So I called up my friends
And stayed over for a couple of days.
And from that day on,
Lucas and I never been apart.

Not a single climatologist predicted a scenario like this.
Maybe someone had a feeling – perhaps the bull?…

…perhaps the bull?…

3.

Vacationers’ chorus

I

TODAY THEY HAVE RAISED
THE RED AND YELLOW FLAG UP HIGH:
THE WHIRLPOOLS OF THE SEA,
DROP-OFFS,
RIP-TIDES,
UNDERTOWS.
YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED
TO WADE IN
DEEPER THAN YOUR KNEES!

4.

Siren’s aria

I

The man I once married,
My ex, he drowned in South-East Asia.
He was the best of swimmers,
On vacation with his girlfriend.
To this very day, no one can understand how it could happen to him:
Some say he was swimming out too far beyond the shore,
And the deep waters took him in.
Others, knowing him better,
Claim he had suffered a cramp due to a magnesium deficiency…

5.

Vacationers’ chorus

II

YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO STAY ON SHORE,
YOU SHOULD NOT LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN UNOBSERVED!
JUST BUILD CASTLES IN THE SAND,
WALK THE BEACH COLLECTING STONES,
SHELLS, AMBER, AND BABY TEETH!…

6.

Wealthy Mommy’s song

I
My boy is eight and a half
And he has been swimming in
The Black,
The Yellow,
The White,
The Red,
The Mediterranean,
Aegean seas…
He has already visited two of the world’s great oceans,
And we’ll visit the remaining ones this year!

Two weeks ago, my husband took me diving in Australia.
Two photographers swam after us – included in the price!
Our little one stayed on shore together with our nanny…

We explored the coral forests,
We climbed through their branches,
It certainly tired us, such density!…

What a relief that the Great Barrier Reef has a restaurant and hotel!
We sat down to sip our piña coladas – included in the price!
They taste better under the water,
Simply a paradise!

7.

Chanson of admiration

I

What a sky, just look, so clear!
Not a single cloud…
What is there? – seagulls or terns?
I can never tell…

O la vida
La vida…

8.

Song of exhaustion. Workaholic’s song

I

I really don’t feel that
I can let myself slow down,
Because my colleagues will look down on me.
They’ll say I have no strength of will.
And I’ll become a loser in my own eyes.

Exhaustion, exhaustion, exhaustion, exhaustion…
Exhaustion, exhaustion, exhaustion, exhaustion…

Exhaustion –
I like to say it as a joke –
It’s like a mammoth,
A nonexistent creature, gone extinct.
Encyclopedias have it,
But in life – a thing you’ll never meet.

9.

Chanson of too much sun

II

My eyelids are heavy,
My head is dizzy,
Light and empty body,
There’s no water left in the bottle.

MY EYELIDS ARE HEAVY,
MY HEAD IS DIZZY,
LIGHT AND EMPTY BODY,
THERE’S NO WATER LEFT IN THE BOTTLE.

10.

Dream

I’m a guest at the house of the author of this book.
It’s pleasant and comfy atmosphere, I feel like laughing.
But all of a sudden, the host starts massaging his temples,
Closing his eyes,
He says: I don’t feel too well, it’s back again, it’s time!
Time for what? – I ask him, feeling concerned.
And then he explains it all to me:
I HAVE IN MY HEAD A TUMOR THE SIZE OF AN EGG,
IT GIVES ME PAINS THAT I CAN HARDLY BEAR!
I NEED TO EAT A HANDFUL OF SHRIMP,
AND ONLY THEN DOES THE SUFFERING END.
I HAVE TO GET SOME SHRIMP, QUICKLY,
TAKE ME TO A RESTAURANT,
UP THERE, ON THE HILL, INSIDE THE CASTLE…

He starts to panic,
I say: OK.
Only wait, I say, I don’t know how to drive.
And wait, I say again, now getting angry:
How can you eat shrimp when you are the ambassador of eating raw?
You are the spokesman for uncooked, vegetarian food,
How can you be such an impudent liar?
You fraud!

I start to hit him with my fists, and wake up soaking in sweat –
I’ve never had a stranger dream!

11.

Philosopher’s commentary

I

Is it not a comical even grotesque situation:
Ancient Persia, China, India –
Some of the oldest civilizations in the world.
A thousand years went by and we are
Lying here on the beach,
Snacking on super sweet dates imported from Iran,
Playing a game of chess invented by Indian Brahmins,
Wearing swimming suits made in the factories of China –
Is this not a parody of the Silk Road?

12.

Song of complaint

I

What’s wrong with people – they come here with their dogs,
Who leave shit on the beach, fleas on the sand!
I come home from the shore, covered with bites, and my skin itching like mad.

What’s wrong with people – they drink beer in the heat of the day!
They spill it and it seeps into the sand,
Then it smells like a slum-hole!

Which then plays a nice duet with bites of sandwich left behind –
It feels like lying all day by a homeless man!

Recently, I stretched my blanket out – right on the old remains of smoked fish –
It was all rotten skin and bones!
I could smell the stench as I lay down.
Turning on my stomach, a foreign body –
A champagne cork – poking my ribs!
What’s wrong with people – is it so hard to walk to a trash bin, or what?

What’s wrong with people – they come here with their dogs,
Who leave shit on the beach, fleas on the sand!…

13.

Vacationers’ chorus

III

The colours of the sea and sky have changed!

THIS SEASON THE SEA IS AS GREEN AS THE FOREST!

14.

Siren’s aria

II

The great-great-great-grandmother of fish
Passed on to her descendants the secrets of gill control:
Every animal kingdom has its special privileges,
Everything is wisely planned out, but humankind –
Well, you don’t have to look far – my aforementioned husband, my ex –
Was so inclined to rash behavior.
This mammal with limited lung power,
Still tries so hard to go into the sea,
To dive down deep:
He wants to conquer and control what is not his to own…

Acidy waves,
Ivory foam,
Rocking the boats full of canned goods,
tourists, fruits, and weapons.

Airplanes in the sky,
Ships sailing the sea.

ACIDY WAVES,
IVORY FOAM –
AIRPLANES IN THE SKY,
SHIPS SAILING THE SEA.

15.

The Volcano couple’s distance song

II

– So what time in the morning is your flight?
– It’s quarter past seven!

– So you need to be there before five…
– I am already getting sad…

– In the morning, I’ll make an omelet… Then we’ll see each other in a week…
– But that week seems so long…

– We should remember to get some gas!
– Can you rub my shoulders? They’re burning.

16.

Wealthy Mommy’s song

II

…we said we’d celebrate our son’s birthday there in a year and a half!
What an amazing sight!
Those coral horns, that bleached, pallid whiteness…
You have to see it, words cannot describe it!

…our baby boy will be ten in a year and a half!
I want him to see the Great Barrier Reef with his own eyes!

My boy is eight and a half
And he’s already been swimming in
The Black,
The Yellow,
The White,
The Red,
The Mediterranean,
Aegean seas…
He has already visited two of the world’s great oceans,
And we’ll visit the remaining ones this year!

17.

Philosopher’s commentary

II

The banana comes into being, ripens somewhere in South America,
And then it ends up on the other side of the planet,
So far away from home.
It only existed to satisfy our hunger in one bite,
To give us a feeling of bliss.

Serotonin from Ecuador – in our northern flatland,
For any time of day or time of year…

18.

Song of complaint

II

…ever since my childhood, smoked fish carries unpleasant associations:
My grandmother used to make me eat smoked fish with mayonnaise for breakfast –
Everyday, the same.
A strange bird, now passed away.

Our farmhouse is full of grandmother’s things, we didn’t want them anymore at home:
We’re going out there next weekend,
I’ll carry out all the coats, and furs, and books into the sun.
Only that sun…
One doesn’t know what to expect…
Even snow in summer wouldn’t surprise me!
Everything is out of joint:
The beginning of May brought frost and snow
And winter gives us buds and mushrooms…

You see, we had Christmas at our farmhouse,
But this year, there was no frost, no snow, it felt like it could be Easter!

Unusual, very unusual, it made for a very strange mood:
In the morning, I rose before everyone else
And I went into the woods –
There was refreshing green moss,
Just like in springtime!
And as I walked the path, there beyond the well,
I found three chanterelles!
The end of December, how come?

As granny liked to say: ‘The end of the world!’

19.

Chanson of admiration

III

Rose-colored dresses flutter:
Jellyfish dance along in pairs –
With emerald-colored bags,
Bottles and red bottle-caps.

O the sea never had so much color!

20.

Song of exhaustion. Workaholic’s song

II

I finally learned to stay calm,
Not to take my state of mind home.
And at work there are unwritten rules, we could call them etiquette:
Don’t complain when things get difficult,
When you are lacking sleep,
When you are under the weather.
Even if you run out of gas – just keep smiling…

But suppressed emotions, I noticed, don’t disappear so easily,
They get knotted up in your psyche:
Suppressed negativity finds a way out unexpectedly,
Like lava.
I feels so bad when I can’t control myself,
And I lose my cool in public.
Then I feel sorry for myself, guilty,
I feel ashamed…

LIKE LAVA, LIKE LAVA, LIKE LAVA, LIKE LAVA…
EXHAUSTION, EXHAUSTION, EXHAUSTION, EXHAUSTION,
IT’S LIKE A MAMMOTH –
A NON-EXISTENT CREATURE GONE EXTINCT:
ENCYCLOPEDIAS, THE ANNALS OF HISTORY– HAVE IT,
BUT IN LIFE – A THING YOU’LL NEVER MEET
YOU’LL NEVER MEET
YOU’LL NEVER MEET…

VACATION IS WHAT KILLED THE MAMMOTH –
OFFICIALLY, THE CREATURE DOES NOT EXIST, BUT ACTUALLY,
IT’S A SPECIES THAT BREEDS AT THE HIGHEST RATE.

AFTER VACATION,
YOUR HAIR SHINES,
YOUR EYES GLITTER,
EVERYTHING IS FINE.

After vacation,
Your hair shines,
Your eyes glitter,
Everything is fine.

21.

The story of the volcano

PEOPLE HAVE BEEN PLANNING
ALL YEAR LONG THEIR TEN DAYS OFF THEIR VACATION,
WHICH THEY ONLY TAKE ONCE EVERY YEAR.
NOW SITTING ALL SWEATY IN THE AIRPORT WAITING ROOM –
GOLDEN HOT SAND EXISTS ONLY IN THE BROCHURE.

THE VOLCANO ERUPTED UNEXPECTEDLY,
CONTRARY TO ALL THE DIAGRAMS AND TIME TABLES –
NOT A SINGLE CLIMATOLOGIST PREDICTED A SCENARIO LIKE THIS.

BEFORE IT REACHED THE AIRPORT,
THE AIRPLANE WAS CAUGHT UP
IN THE BLACK CLOUD.
WHEN ASHES ARE DRAWN INTO THE HOT ENGINE,
THEY BECOME GLASS:
ASHES, AEROPLANES,
ASHES, AEROPLANES,
ASHES, AEROPLANES…

The Volcano couple’s love song

III

I stayed over for a couple of days,
Until the panic and the ashes diminished.
Until airport paralysis came to an end.
My friend here introduced me to his brother:
– We are together!…
–We are together!…

22.

3D sisters’ song

– I cried so much when I learned that corals will be gone.
And together with the Great Barrier Reef the fish would go extinct –
From sharks to the smallest fry.
– I cried so much when I learned bees are massively falling from the sky,
And with them all the world’s plant life will die.
– I cried so much when I understood that I am mortal,
That my body will one day get old and wither.
And I won’t see, or feel, or smell ever again…

– My mother left a 3D printer turned on.
And the machine began to print me out.

When my body dies, I will remain,
In an empty planet without birds, animals and corals.
Yet with the press of a single button,
I will remake this world again:
– 3D corals never fade away!
– 3D animals never lose their horns!
– 3D food doesn’t have a price!
– 3D me lives forever!

I will print you out, mother,
When I need you,
My sister too, I will print you out,
When I miss you dearly.
All of us together will print out some meat,
And shrimp as well,
When we want something savoury to eat.
And we will print out the bees,
So that at least some sweetness is left.

3D CORALS NEVER FADE AWAY!
3D ANIMALS NEVER LOSE THEIR HORNS!
3D FOOD DOESN’T HAVE A PRICE!
3D ME LIVES FOREVER!

23.

Sunscreen bosanova

II

Will you cover my back with it, please?…
I bought us some new sunscreen…
What does it say?…
…let’s read it…
It should be good enough…
Hand me my glasses…
Look in the other bag there…

Protection for hypersensitive skin…
Schutz für überempfindliche Haut…
Захист для гіперчутливої шкіри…
Protezione per la pelle ipersensibile…

24.

Vacationers’ chorus

IV

THIS YEAR THE SEA IS AS GREEN AS A FOREST:
EUTROPHICATION!
BOTANICAL GARDENS ARE FLOURISHING IN THE SEA –
THE WATER BLOOMS.
OUR BODIES ARE COVERED WITH A SLIPPERY GREEN FLEECE,
OUR SWIMSUITS ARE FILLING UP WITH ALGAE,
EMPTY SNAIL HOMES, SWOLLEN SEAWEED, FISH REMAINS,
AND ALL KINDS OF SHELLS…

Finnish translation of the lyrics

Instructions for the audience  

  • The audience can enter the performance space at 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm.  
  • The performance is ongoing. You can stay in the performance space for 55 minutes from the time indicated on the ticket.
  • You can watch the performance from a balcony above the stage. The audience is allowed to move freely on the balcony during the performance.
  • Please note that the work is viewed standing up. Wheelchair spaces are available. 

Artists

Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė (b. 1983, Vilnius) is a filmmaker, theater director and visual artist.  

Vaiva Grainytė (b. 1984, based in Lithuania and Canada) is a writer, playwright and poet. Her creative work tends to cross the confines of desk work and be manifested in interdisciplinary practices such as radio plays, site-specific and dance performances, and musicals. 

Lina Lapelytė (b. 1984, based in Vilnius and London) is an artist, composer and performer. Her performance-based practice is rooted in music and contains references to pop culture, gender stereotypes and nostalgia.  

Rugile Barzdziukaite, Vaiva Grainyte, Lina Lapelyte. Photo: Andrej Vasilenko.

The artists’ previous work was Have a Good Day, a contemporary opera for 10 cashiers, supermarket sounds and a piano. It premiered in 2013 and is currently touring worldwide. 

The team

Concept and development: Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė, Lina Lapelytė  
Director and set designer: Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė  
Librettist: Vaiva Grainytė  
Composer and musical direction: Lina Lapelytė  
Curator: Lucia Pietroiusti  
Libretto translator: Rimas Uzgiris  
Singers: Svetlana Bagdonaitė, Evaldas Alekna, Aliona Alymova, Teresė Andrijauskaitė, Milda Andrijauskaitė-Bakanauskienė, Arūnas Arlauskas, Marco Cisco, Nabila Dandara, Saulė Dovydėnaitė, Auksė Dovydėnaitė, Claudia Graziadei, Sandro Hähnel, Elisabeth Holmer, Lucas Lopes Pereira, Artūras Miknaitis,, Eglė Paškevičienė, Vytautas Pastarnokas, Salomėja Petronytė, Kalliopi Petrou, Ieva Skorubskaitė, Elisabetta Trevenzuoli, Annapaola Trevenzuoli (TBC). 
Performers: Raminta Barzdžiukienė, Vincentas Korba, Ona Lapelienė, Jeronimas Petraitis, Juozas Petraitis, Mantas Petraitis, Pranas Petraitis,, Jonas Statkevičius (TBC).  
Local choir: Lempikuoro
Live soundtrack: Salomėja Petronytė, Evaldas Alekna 
Sound engineer: Romuald Chaloin Galiauskas 
Tour manager: Aušra Simanavičiūtė  
Production manager: Erika Urbelevič  
Technical director: Lique Van Gerven  
Principal producer: Neon Realism  
Commissioner (Sun & Sea (Marina), Venice, 2019): Rasa Antanavičiūtė  

Collaboration

Organised jointly by Kiasma, Helsinki Festival and Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.

Supported by

Lithuanian Council for Culture; Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania; Laurenz Foundation and Basel; Vilnius City Municipality.

Similar events