Thursday, 30 April 2015

‘Mountain’ drummer Corky Laing’s rock opera making NYC debut

Corky Laing of Greenport rehearses earlier this month at his Southold studio. (Credit: Rachel Young)
Corky Laing of Greenport rehearses earlier this month at his Southold studio. (Credit: Rachel Young)
It’s about starting a conversation.
That’s what Corky Laing, drummer for the band Mountain, said recently about “Playing God — The Rock Opera,” his heavy-metal collaboration with Finnish bioethics professors Tuija Takala and Matti Häyry.
“There’s no agenda here,” said Mr. Laing, who is 67 and lives in Greenport. “We’re just enjoying the academic part.”
The rock opera, which makes its U.S. debut Thursday at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in New York City, explores topics like artificial insemination, immortality, cloning, suicide, deities, the afterlife and the concept of “savior siblings,” said Ms. Takala, an instructor at the University of Helsinki. She co-wrote the production with her husband, Mr. Häyry, who teaches philosophy at the Aalto University School of Business in Helsinki and is a founding member of the International Association of Bioethics. The show, which is directed by Kate Muethe of East Hampton and features a predominantly international cast, has already been performed in Helsinki and Basel, Switzerland.
“These are the sort of issues people are increasingly coming across in their own lives,” said Ms. Takala, who said she and Mr. Häyry began writing the opera “after a couple bottles of red wine” in 2010. Its themes about genetic engineering are explored in the form of a narrative set in the fictional town of Happyville.

Playing God
CD - £9.99

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