If On the Origin of Species Was Too Easy, Try the Opera

Let’s get this out of the way first – I’m not that familiar with opera, aside from its appearance in some quality Warner Brothers cartoons (“What’s Opera, Doc?” and “Rabbit of Seville” foremost among them).  Please read what follows understanding that I may well miss the nuance and flavor of the project in question.

Today Wired reports that you can now get the music from the opera commissioned to note the sesquicentennial of the publication of On the Origin of Species.  The opera is called “Tomorrow, In a Year” and premiered last fall in Copenhagen.  The location for the premiere seems appropriate, given the role Copenhagen played in another intersection of art and science (also adapted for television).

You can listen to one of the opera selections, “Colouring of Pigeons,” online.  It’s not at all clear from that website how to get the full opera score.  However, it is available in physical form from at least on online retailer, and available for download from several places.  I can’t speak to the opera’s libretto, but the music is pretty challenging, with a fair amount of natural sounds sampled for the track that I heard.  I wouldn’t recommend this for background music, at least if you want to get the full effect.


Science and Technology Guests on Late Night, Week of March 1

All of the usual shows are new this week, and while Leno may be back at 11:30, none of his first week’s guests rank mention here.

Tonight Neil deGrasse Tyson will appear on The Daily Show, likely in connection with the premiere tomorrow night of The Pluto Files, a documentary airing on NOVA connected with Tyson’s book from last year.  Check those local listings for time and station.  You can get a sample of Tyson’s arguments for what he did and why (long before the International Astronomical Union decided to define a planet for the first time since the ancient Greeks) at this appearance.

The other guest of note is actually a repeat from January.  Jimmy Kimmel’s show on Friday will be a repeat of Paul Bettany’s appearance in January.  Part of that interview covers Bettany’s work as Charles Darwin in Creation.