A New Topography of Love is a 20 minute animated video-game opera experience, played on a bespoke arcade console.
Imagine Super Mario Brothers meets Mario Lanza, Mickey Mouse, whales, bats, birds and Jeff Bezos all battling it out for the future of our very own planet earth.
A New Topography of Love tells the tale of the earth – ravaged by waste and excess and almost too late to save – but the animals that remain become our teachers, reminding us of the essence of living and that there is nothing more important than our voice. The piece plays out across seven chapters with three-interactive levels, all with one goal in common – to spread the love.
Written and directed by John McIlduff and composed by Brian Irvine, Dumbworld collaborates with artist Stephen Maurice Graham (The Washington Post, VICE, MTV) to create a bold new video-game opera experience.
Both humorous and thought-provoking, A New Topography of Love introduces audiences to unforgettable new characters and some familiar faces. An original accompanying operatic soundtrack reflects this satirical, dark humor as audiences are taken on a journey through destruction, re-birth, love and, most importantly – hope. In a debut collaboration with Whitepot Studios, we pay homage to the beloved, yet nearly forgotten, 1970s video game culture (think Space Race and Pacman).
Whitepot director’s Adam Whiteside and Vicky Pott’s expertise shape the digital realm to meet an in-person experience – something which we have all been craving. A bespoke arcade space will bring back communal gaming where participation and vocal reactions are highly encouraged. This immersive animated video-game opera experience encourages players to reflect on current issues we are facing on our planet in a highly amusing, yet thoughtful way.
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Composer – Brian Irvine
Writer/Director – John McIlduff
Illustrator – Stephen Maurice Graham
Video Design – Conan McIvor
Game Development – Whitepot Studios
Conductor – Fergus Sheil
Singers – Kelli-Ann Masterson; Philip Keegan; Brendan Collins; Owen Gilhooly; Jeffrey Ledwidge Orchestra – Bogdan Sofei; Adele Govier; Adrian Mantu; Dominic Dudley; Conor Sheil; Deirdre O’Leary; Ross Lyness; Hannah Miller; Aoife O’Sullivan
Producer – Susanna Lagan
Production Assistant – Lia Campbell
Brian Irvine- Born in Belfast, Brian’s unique musical world combines the known and the unknown, the free and the fixed, the schooled and the unschooled. He is driven by a single desire to connect, disrupt, reinvent, and reimagine all aspects of life, people, society, art and understanding in any and as many ways possible. His music is a highly personal concoction of punk, improvisation and contemporary classical.
Shortlisted for an Ivor Novello Award, nominated for five British Composer Awards (BASCA’s) and winner of two, Brian’s huge output includes operas, large scale oratorios, orchestral, ensemble, chamber, solo and dance works as well as film scores and installations.
Often combining and layering diverse and opposing elements he is as happy working with community choirs, gardeners, footballers, bankers, teens, and skateboarders as he is with orchestras and opera singers.
His music has been commissioned, broadcast, and performed all over the world by a vast array of performers and organisations including the London Symphony Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Red Note Ensemble, Ulster Orchestra, Joanna MacGregor, Fidelio Trio, and Irish National Opera…to name but a few.
John McIlduff- John is a librettist, writer, stage director, producer, and filmmaker, whose work spans opera, television, film, theatre, music videos, commercials, installations and even the odd song lyric.
A graduate of L’École de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, an Edinburgh Fringe First Winner, and a Total Theatre Innovation Award nominee, John is interested in exploring how arts practice can intersect, combine, evolve, and democratise.
Most recently his work has combined traditional analogue performance with digital technologies to transform how opera is presented and experienced – taking the art form out of the opera house and onto the streets and attracting new (and younger) audiences. His work has been seen throughout Europe, Americas, and Asia on the streets, in theatres, at film festivals, in concert halls, on TV, in galleries, in communities and on the sides of shipping containers.
Dumbworld- Our vision is to create extraordinary art experiences of the highest quality.
Established in 2009 by Brian Irvine and John McIlduff, Dumbworld is an artist led, creative production company.
Dumbworld creates artistically ambitious and exciting pieces that involve working closely with significant practicing professionals as well as people of all ages, experiences, and backgrounds.
We make work that is to be found at the intersection of music, image and words including film, opera, documentary, oratorio, animation, public art installation, performance pieces, theatre, and curatorial projects. We have created and produced full-scale operas, community operas, animated operas, large -scale children’s orchestral oratorios, feature films, feature documentaries and installations.
Arts Council Northern Ireland, Lottery Fund | Bank of Ireland, Begin Together & Business to Arts | Belfast City Council | Arts Council Ireland | The Hinrichsen Foundation