Spatial Sound

Nikola (2012)

Paul Oomen

Nikola is a five-hour experience where opera encounters techno, written and composed by Paul Oomen. Vocal scenes emerge from within the audience, alternating with DJ sets on the 4DSOUND system, creating a completely new immersive environment that transcends the border between the club and theatrical space.

The inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was visionary of a world that possesses absolute communication. A world without borders between here or there, then or now - everybody is in contact. In this opera we experience being inside of Nikola Tesla's head, - lost in a world of sounds, voices and information.

Nikola is a location piece, where actors and spectators meet and share the same space. The opera emerges from within a techno party - small performances in space grow into dramatic scenes as the night evolves. This real-time setting becomes the stage where Nikola encounters the world around him, whether as memories from the past, voices from the future or physical audience in the here and now.

Sounds and voices appear anywhere in space, moving around, above, beneath and in between the audience. The audience is not only listening to a performance, but is present in a transforming spatial environment of sound. The music turns into a virtual space, enabling the audience to choose their own paths and create personal interaction.

Nikola is the first opera composed in 4DSOUND and has been commissioned by Voi-Z Festival in 2012.