After our introductory post on Basel’s theater groups, we decided we needed to feature these groups in more detail. This week’s focus is on Happyville‘s upcoming production: TEST. Rock opera is fairly rare in Basel but even more is one that asks the questions TEST poses:

Anne Maria Schmid: "Sophie" in rock opera TEST,.

Anne Maria Schmid: “Sophie” in rock opera TEST.

Do you want to live forever?

Would you like to be cloned?

Would you like to design your baby?

Are you neglecting your child by not using gene therapies to provide a better life?

How far are you willing to go?

The story centers around a small town where the inhabitants have embraced genetic manipulation as the way to happiness. All of the town citizens have been genetically altered, except for one: Sophie, a young woman whose father chose not to give her any genetic tests or treatment. Sophie is bipolar, an adept hacker, and eager to explore the “imperfect” world outside of her town.

With music by Jakob Vinje and a book by Krista Jaquet and James Sievert, TEST combines classic rock with the drama of opera and is not afraid to delve deep into modern issues. The cast includes rock singer Marc Storace as Luke, a drifter who is currently in his 130th year of life thanks to genetic engineering, and Anne Maria Schmid as Sophie.

“I Would Die For You” from TEST. Music by Jakob Vinje. Lyics by Krista Jaquet and James Sievert

Both authors live in Basel and the opera is premiering in our city February 2016. To keep up  to date on the production developments follow the TEST blog. You can find more excerpts from the show up on the website. Tickets to performances at the Scala should be available in August to experience this special mix of “epic rock, hard choices”.

Sneak preview: the cast of TEST rehearse Act 1.

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