‘Martian’ rock opera to play D.C. and Waterville
“One Way Trip to Mars – A Rock Opera,” written by Maine musicians Peter Alexander and Johannah Harkness, was featured at The Humans to Mars Summit in Washington, D.C., in early May, the world’s largest event dedicated to human exploration of Mars, where Buzz Aldrin and several other astronauts will be speaking. The conference organizers invited Alexander to perform songs and show video clips of the production. The rock opera, a multi-media spectacular in the tradition of The Who’s “Tommy” and David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust,” makes its world theatrical premiere at the Waterville Opera House Aug. 24-27. Tickets go on sale May 12.
“One Way Trip To Mars – A Rock Opera” features 21 original songs written by Alexander and Harkness and is directed by Dennis St. Pierre.
“When I heard Peter and Johannah’s music and read the story embodied in their lyrics, I was completely blown away,” said St. Pierre. “This is truly a great show, and we are proud that it was endorsed for submission to the annual festival of the National Alliance of Musical Theaters and has been accepted for its world theatrical premiere at Waterville Opera House.”
One Way Trip to Mars, set in 2033, and tells a story about Cruise, the first human chosen to fly a solo, one-way mission to establish a human colony on Mars. The performance takes audiences on an emotional roller coaster, from the exuberance Cruise feels in response to being chosen for the mission, to his coming to grips with the reality of forever leaving behind everything he loves on earth, including his life partner and fellow astronaut, Cassandra.
When catastrophic events on earth cause communication links with Mars to go down, Cruise is left alone in the universe. In an effort to save the mission, and possibly the human race, the space agency sends Cassandra to join Cruise on the red planet—but there’s no radio contact! From there the story accelerates to its dramatic conclusion. The story line for this dramatic rock opera was inspired by actual plans by several space agencies to send manned missions to Mars within the next 10 to 20 years.
Alexander and Harkness conceived of this idea and began writing the rock opera in 2015. In the fall of 2016, they produced a series of multi-media concert performances of the show with their “Hollowbody Electric Band” and an orchestra and chorus of 30 musicians. Two of their earlier CDs have competed in the Grammys and received international praise; one of Alexander’s songs was even recorded by Rod Stewart. For more information, visit www.onewaytriptomars.org.
Ticket pricing: $24 adults, $22 seniors and students. Tickets go on sale May 12 at www.operahouse.org.
The Waterville Opera House is located at 1 Common Street, Waterville. 207-873-7000.