The Romeo and Juliet of particle physics comes to Lakeside

21 Nov 2018 14:53:59.957

PA 245/18

When Shakespeare and science collide – that's the essence of a new opera coming to Nottingham Lakeside Arts’ Djanogly Theatre on University Park on Tuesday 27 November 2018.

Entanglement! An Entropic Tale is a new three act opera by Infinite Opera. It is described by its composer and producers as the Romeo and Juliet of particle physics. To guide you through the scientific concepts of this performance will be some of the University of Nottingham’s most celebrated physicists and mathematicians. They will introduce the performance and host a Q&A afterwards.

Gerardo Adesso, Professor of Mathematical Physics, in the School of Mathematics at the University of Nottingham, said: “I am so excited that ‘Entanglement!’ is coming to Nottingham. Having been interested in the concept of quantum entanglement and its applications for my whole research career, I have also long been in pursuit of unveiling deep connections between (quantum) physics and visual arts. When I was recently gifted a painting entitled ‘Entanglement’, which I had been an admirer of since my PhD, I thought a peak synthesis had been reached. Now I am prepared to be blown away by this full scale opera where entanglement, entropy, gravitational waves, and other signature traits of contemporary physics come to life in an intriguing and romantic tale.”

Click here for full story

The story

Entanglement is a story based on concepts from physics and fundamental particles. The main characters are either particles living in a quantum world or the laws that govern our universe. The story is similar to Greek mythology, telling the trials of mortals among the gods.

The characters

Deeply connected, Electron and Positron long to touch but doing so would mean their annihilation. Guided by the nihilistic and reckless Entropy, their search for identity and meaning leads to black holes, parallel universes, encounters with the laws of physics – and ultimately the end of the universe as we know it. Based on current concepts from particle physics, Entanglement! An Entropic Tale is a cosmic exploration of life and death, creation and destruction, and the importance of living life in the present.

Timothy Rushby, is Head of Audience Development and Marketing. He said: “I can’t wait to see this opera. To take the complexity of particle physics and turn it into an opera is a bold thing to do. I’m sure this will both entertain and inform anyone keen to find out more about this subject matter – if the Pint of Science festival or Radio 4’s Infinite Money Cage is your thing, then this opera’s for you!”

The inspiration

Composer, trumpeter and co-producer Daniel Blanco Albert has just graduated with MMus in Composition from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with Distinction and BA Hons (First) Composition in both Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Valencia Conservatoire. He has worked intensively with the Birmingham School of Acting and other external partners on over 20 productions. He has also written a 55’ long opera/dance hybrid based on Celtic street theatre from Castile-Leon which gained the Birmingham Conservatoire Orchestral Composition Prize. These experiences, alongside an interest in physics and non-naturalistic theatre, inspired him to create this work

Daniel said: "The music is extremely melodic and expressive, even though it is also very modern. As an opera it is also immensely dramatic and exciting. Not only will you be wowed with sound and story, but there is a visual feast for the audience."

Singer, librettist and physics graduate Roxanne Korda (also co-producer) studied Physics and Philosophy at King’s College London and has just completed an MMus in Vocal Performance at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. She wrote this story to combine her love of physics, philosophy and theatre in a way that would help people to reflect on their own paths and reinforce the idea that these concepts are a fundamental part of the human psyche. Her influences came from texts such as The Complete Cosmocomics, Alice in Wonderland and Waiting for Godot.

Roxanne said: “I hope that this story will inspire the imagination of the audience to learn more about the universe and how we as humans perceive the world around us.”

What the scientists say

The performance will be followed by a Q&A panel session with Professor Gerardo Adesso, Mark Fromhold, Roxanne Korda, Daniel Blanco Albert. The session will be chaired by Timothy Rushby.

Mark Fromhold, Professor of Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy, said: “Art and science form a creative continuum. There is so much in common between the ways that artists and scientists work, often across disciplinary or geographical boundaries, and their impact on people’s lives. For example, quantum mechanics can be used to image brain function and so visualize how our physiology is affected by music. Since complex scientific concepts are often best conveyed visually via diagrams or sketches on the back of an envelope, the imagery and dynamics of art, music and dance lend themselves naturally to describing science when language fails. Having worked previously with musicians, Lady Maisery, who explained entanglement in their song "Order and chaos", I’m really excited to see ballet make quantum “spookiness” accessible. In an increasingly divided world, it’s so important to promote understanding across boundaries that are often perceived, but don’t really exist.”

The opera will be performed at 7.30pm on Tuesday 27 November 2018. For more information and to book tickets click here.

For more information about the Infinite Opera go to their website.

High res images available on request. Please credit – Claire Shovelton

Scientific Glossary:

Black Hole - a point in space where gravity is so strong that even light, the fastest thing in the universe, cannot escape.

Entanglement – a physical correlation which develops between pairs or groups of particles which are generated from a common source, undergo an interaction, or share spatial proximity.

Entropy – a measure of a system’s thermal energy and molecular disorder.

Electron – a stable subatomic particle with a charge of negative electricity.

Gravitational waves – disturbances in the fabric of spacetime generated by accelerated masses and travelling out from their source at the speed of light.

Parallel Universe - a hypothetical self-contained alternative reality co-existing with one’s own.

Particle Physics - a branch of physics that studies the nature of particles that constitute matter and radiation.

Positron - the positron or antielectron is the antiparticle or the antimatter counterpart of the electron.


— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the  2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer, proud of our Athena SWAN silver award, and a key industry partner- locally and globally.


Story credits

More information is available from Timothy Rushby,  at the University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 8467379, or Professor Gerardo Adesso, at the University of Nottingham on +44 (0) 155 8466165,
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Lakeside Arts champion awarded OBE

Published Date
Saturday 31st December 2016

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798