Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Netflix Series "Sense8" Shoots At Harpa Hall In Reykjavík, Iceland

Tuppence Middleton  (right) as Riley Blue [née Gunnarsdóttir], stands with her father Gunar (second from left)
 getting high in front of Harpa concert hall in Iceland before the big concert.
In April 2015, Opera Fresh did a feature on architect Olafur Eliasson and his work with opera houses. Now one of his projects is featured in the newest Netflix hit series Sense8. The 12-episode series was released in its entirety on June 5. The show is shot on location in Chicago, San Francisco, London, Berlin, Seoul, Reykjavík, Mexico City, Nairobi and Mumbai. The science fiction drama web television series created, written and executive-produced by Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix, Bound, Jupiter Ascending) and J. Michael Straczynski (World War Z, Changeling, They Marched into Sunlight).
Episode 10, "What is Human," features a climactic scene where Riley's father Gunar is giving a performance of the "Allegro" movement from Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 ("The Emperor") and all the sensates present recall the moment of their births. This intoxicating musical moment also triggers something in Riley and blood begins running down her face as she faints at the end of the episode. She will soon be sent to a hospital and discovered by Mr. Whispers. 
"Despite its use of simple chords, including a second theme constructed almost entirely out of tonic and dominant notes and chords, the first movement is full of complex thematic transformations. When the piano enters with the first theme, the expository material is repeated with variations, virtuoso figurations, and modified harmonies. The second theme enters in the unusual key of B minor before moving to B major and at last to the expected key of B-flat major several bars later. Following the opening flourish, the movement follows Beethoven's trademark three-theme sonata structure for a concerto. The orchestral exposition is a typical two-theme sonata exposition, but the second exposition with the piano has a triumphant virtuoso third theme at the end that belongs solely to the solo instrument. Beethoven does this in many of his concertos. The coda at the end of the movement is quite long, and, again typical of Beethoven, uses the open-ended first theme and gives it closure to create a satisfying conclusion." [Source]
More about Sense8, the actor who plays the piano-playing character of Gunar, a complete performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major (Op. 73) by Krystian Zimerman, and another operatic connection to Sense8, after the jump.

"Sense8 (a play on the word sensate /ˈsɛnseɪt/, meaning aware) is an American science fiction drama web television series created, written and executive-produced by Andy and Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski. A first season consisting of 12 episodes has been produced and became available for streaming on Netflix on June 5, 2015. The plot revolves around eight strangers from different parts of the world who suddenly become mentally and emotionally linked. The show aims to explore subjects that its writers felt science fiction shows, at least ostensibly, tend to ignore or skim through such as politics, identity, sexuality, gender and religion. The Wachowskis directed most of the series, with the remainder divided between their previous collaborators Tom Tykwer, James McTeigue, and Dan Glass. The series is the first produced under the banner of Straczynski's Studio JMS. Sense8 tells the story of eight strangers: Will (Brian J. Smith), Riley (Tuppence Middleton), Capheus (Aml Ameen), Sun (Bae Doona), Lito (Miguel Ángel Silvestre), Kala (Tina Desai), Wolfgang (Max Riemelt) and Nomi (Jamie Clayton), each individual from a different culture and part of the world. While living their everyday lives they suddenly have a vision of the violent death of a woman called Angelica (Daryl Hannah) and find themselves reborn as Sensates; otherwise normal human beings who are mentally and emotionally connected, being able to communicate, sense, use each other's knowledge, language and skills. While trying to both live their lives and figure how and why this connection happened and what it means, a mysterious man named Jonas (Naveen Andrews) possessing the same ability tries to help the eight and protect them from another stranger called Whispers (Terrence Mann) who is similarly empowered and is hunting them down to tap into their psychic link and capture them all." [Source]
"Kristján Kristjánsson also known as KK is an Icelandic blues and folk musician. His stage name is pronounced "cow cow." KK was born on March 26, 1956 in Minnesota, United States, but later moved to Iceland with his family. He attended music school in Malmö, Sweden for four years and then played his way across Europe from 1985 until 1990, when he returned to Iceland. He has been nominated for the Gríma Prize twice and has been awarded the Icelandic Music Prize twice. In 2007 he toured to Shanghai with Magnús Eiríksson ("Maggi") and Óttar Felix Hauksson in advance of the release of their next recording there and in Iceland.[2] In 2010 he played with his band at the World Expo in Shanghai, representing Iceland. Since production of the closing episodes of Sense8, the American-produced, internationally cast and filmed science fiction drama from Netflix that debuted in June 2015, KK has contributed musically, and in an acting role, appearing in as supporting character "Gunnar," musician and father to principal character "Riley Blue" ("Riley Gunnarsdóttir," played by Tuppence Middleton)." [Source]

While shooting in Mexico City, Daryl Hannah posted the above image on her Instagram account. The building featured is the Palacio de Bellas Artes. The most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature, as well as exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography, take place here. It is the most important cultural institution in Mexico City. Maria Callas debuted in Bellini's Norma at the theater in 1950. [Source]

The two images above were posted on social media in January 2015 by make-up artists for the production of Sense8. The crew held it's wrap party in the lobby of the Harpa concert hall. 

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