Bringing “u” To The U.S.

Klingon TheOpera“u” the Klingon opera has been performed in Europe since 2010. Now the creative team is drumming up interest in a 2015 U.S. tour via its website and Facebook.

The libretto of “u” is taken from the story of Kahless the unforgettable.

Betrayed by his brother and witness to his father’s brutal slaying, Kahless is pitted against his bitter enemy the mighty tyrant Molor. To regain his honor he must travel into the underworld, create the first Bat’leth, be united with his true love the lady Lukara and fight many epic battles.

“u” was composed by Eef van Breen to a libretto by Kees Ligtelijn and Marc Okrand (the leading Klingon linguist) under the artistic direction of Floris Schönfeld. The music is performed on “indigenous Klingon instruments.”

Klingon instruments used in the opera "u".

Klingon instruments used in the opera “u”.

Here’s a clip.

[Thanks to Francis Hamit for the story.]

Councilman Resigns in Klingon

Klingon resignation noteKlingon is the language of diplomacy and commerce in the more unfortunate reaches of the universe, an area not previously suspected to encompass Indian Trail, North Carolina. But when David Waddell wanted to tell the mayor he was resigning as a city councilman he wrote the message in Klingon.

According to Waddell, Mayor Alvarez is “a little bit of a Trekkie, also,” so he considered this a good way to zap him on the way out.

The message was taken in the spirit with which it was intended — Mayor Michael Alvarez called the letter unprofessional. “It’s an embarrassment for Indian Trail, and it’s an embarrassment for North Carolina.”

Indian Trail is about 15 miles southeast of Charlotte. Waddell said he quit because of long-simmering clashes with the town manager and frustration with what he called cronyism and secrecy.

“Today is a good day to resign!” he wrote – actually more of a reference to Little Big Man than Star Trek. Though in the words of another famous figure, this is not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning as Waddell sees it. He plans to run as a write-in candidate on the Constitution Party platform for the seat of Democratic Senator Kay Hagan this year.

“I’m going to challenge the two-party system and challenge the common way of thinking on a lot of political issues,” Waddell promised.

Hmm. Better tell the Captain to warm up the phasers and dust off the photon torpedoes.


Four people sent me links about this in one day – readers know a story that’s in my wheelhouse when they see one.  If I hadn’t been felled with a heavy cold I’d have written about it sooner. And I still have a few more things to work on before I’m caught up.

[Thanks to David Klaus, Martin Morse Wooster, John King Tarpinian and Steven H Silver for the story.]

Helping Out-of-Work Klingons

The Illinois Department of Employment Security is solving a Klingon unemployment problem you didn’t know existed. IDES offers its website in the Klingon language, as well as in Spanish, Russian, and (Simplified) Chinese.

But don’t worry, Senator Grassley — the service is a free component of Microsoft Translator. It was created as a promotion for the Star Trek: Into Darkness movie and has been kept around because it draws more traffic to the department’s website.

A byproduct of never assigning employees to check the Klingon translation of IDES’ 280-page website, as the department has for other languages, is that no one has fixed the problem that some words, like “appeal” and “unemployment,” don’t translate, they remain in English.

Oh, well. As they say in Klingon, “Yap qum Qap SoQ,” — “Close enough for government work.”


[Thanks to Sam Long for the story.]

Klingon Language Institute
Leads in to Renovation

Want to hear some buy’ ngop (“Great news!”)?

For three days before the Worldcon, Lawrence M. Schoen will be leading the Klingon Language Institute’s annual summer conference (qep’a’) in Reno. The official verbal battles begin Sunday morning, August 14, and run through Tuesday evening, August 16. Advance registration is $35, or $40 at the door.

The full press release follows the jump.

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Snapshots 10

Seven developments of interest to fans.

(1) There’s a wacky music video tribute to John Williams making its way around the web, where a fellow sings four parts a capella while combining some of Williams’ memorable movie themes with filk-style lyrics.
(2) Follow this link to NBC News’ excellent summary of the Clark Rockefeller case, “Famous name, infamous life.” From the interview:

Natalie Morales: Did you kill John and Linda Sohus?

Clark Rockefeller: My entire life, I’ve always been a pacifist. I am a Quaker and I believe in non-violence. And I can fairly certainly say that I have never hurt anyone.

(3) Bob Baker, whose marionettes performed in a Star Trek episode, now is 84. Just like the big corporations, his LA puppet theater for kids could use a bailout. (Which episode? It was Baker manipulating Beauregard, the highly animated plant spooked by the “salt-vampire” in the first Star Trek episode ever broadcast, “The Man Trap.”)

(4) The New York Times discovered “An Otherworldly Opera That Speaks Klingon“:

Mr. Schfeld, 26, who speaks English, German, Dutch and what he calls basic Klingon, started creating the opera in the summer of 2007 as his masters thesis at the Interfaculty ArtScience program, affiliated with the Royal Conservatory, in The Hague, where he lives. With a group he founded, the Klingon Terran Research Ensemble, he performed parts of the opera at the Zeebelt Theater in The Hague, most recently in July. They can be seen on YouTube clips linked to his Web site,

(5) David Klaus recommends an article for its revelation of “a new twist on ‘they’re out to get me’ – ‘they’re out to watch me,’ as paranoid schizophrenia manifests itself as a belief they’re in The Truman Show or The Matrix.”

One man showed up at a federal building, asking for release from the reality show he was sure was being made of his life. Another was convinced his every move was secretly being filmed for a TV contest. A third believed everything — the news, his psychiatrists, the drugs they prescribed — was part of a phony, stage-set world with him as the involuntary star, like the 1998 movie “The Truman Show.”

(6) Aaron Ross Powell tells about his experience selling a draft novel on Amazon’s Kindle.

(7) The economic crisis has killed a manga publisher:

In what looks to be a reaction to the economic downturn, manga publisher Broccoli Books, the U.S. branch of Broccoli International, a Japan-based international producer of anime, manga, games and pop culture merchandise, will close at the end of this year.

Broccoli Books is based in Los Angeles.

[Thanks to David Klaus, Francis Hamit, and Andrew Porter for these links.]