2020 journal article
Opera’s Inconvenient Truths in the Anthropocene Age: CO2 and Anthropocene
The Opera Quarterly, 36(1-2), 99–112.
For three weeks in July 2015, the stage of Milan’s Teatro alla Scala was a pulpit of climate science. Giorgio Battistelli, Ian Burton, and Robert Carsen’s CO2—based on Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth (2006)—places fictional climatologist David Adamson at center stage, where Adamson warns that greenhouse gas emissions are making the planet uninhabitable. In interviews about CO2, Battistelli explained that the theme of climate change was “not ideological, not religious, and not the usual [opera] plot. I was interested in finding a subject away from our cultures and that would address a global issue.”1 Climate activist Lucy Wood has suggested that projects like Battistelli’s are important because “if [climate change] remains mere data people are literally blinded by it. So, people are able to file it away as something we don’t have to deal with because it’s not an immediate concern, because they don’t feel...