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Sacrum Profanum 2024


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ICE Kraków Congress Centre




12 songs and soundscapes covering 12 changing landscapes, telling the story and future of the planet. An eco-opera co-written by the British techno producer Andy Stott and the Latvian composer Krists Auznieks to the libretto by Icelandic poet Sjón. One last wake up call on the way to the doom.

Polish première of the opera NeoArctic created in cooperation between the Latvian Radio Choir and the Danish producer-creative collective Hotel Pro Forma (co-creators of, among others, Tomorrow, in a Year by the duo The Knife). The performance boldly explores the Anthropocene, a geological epoch characterised by the humanity’s acute impact on the fragile ecosystem. Through a combination of classical singing, electronics, staging and choreography, as well as dynamic visuals based on photographs from NASA, NeoArctic addresses a wide range of environmental issues, from climate change to urbanisation and the digitalisation of entire industries, up to soil erosion. Humans have become a ‘force of nature’ that plays a key role in the rapid, mindless and severe destruction of the Earth.

The performance results from a collaboration between artists and scientists based on long-term research. Nature in the proper sense has come to an end, it has become an appendage to the activity of humans, which has severe, uncontrollable consequences. Our lifestyle, our greed and capitalism are leading us to extinction. The performance looks at contemporary industrial civilisation through landscapes and soundscapes presented in 12 performative pieces. The new era is characterised by the devastation and disappearing of natural species, the appearance of new technological life forms and the post-industrial landscapes.

On the big stage you will see 12 amazing singers in special costumes. Words are sung, whispered, shouted and rhythmically spoken, repetitively forging the successive soundscapes. They were written by Sjón, an Icelandic poet and novelist who has collaborated with Björk and written several acclaimed opera librettos (including for Emily Hall’s Folie à Deux presented at Sacrum Profanum in 2016).The voices are accompanied by experimental electronic music from the acclaimed post-techno producer Andy Stott and the Latvian composer Krists Auznieks, who has written beautiful yet fleeting melodies. The stage is covered with white fabric looking like a canvas for light, colour and film projections. The landscape is constantly changing and the first cruise ship has already set off on its journey through the Northwest Passage. More ecotourists of the New World will follow it soon, equipped to record the wonders of nature and map the geological, biological and climatic changes. Do not miss the next cruise!

Hotel Pro Forma - NeoArctic (2016) 80’ [Polish première]

Performed by:
Latvian Radio Choir:
Agate Pooka
Iveta Apine
Inga Martinsone
Ilze Konovalovs
Dace Strautmane
Gundega Krumina
Rudolfs Bertins
Normunds Kirsis
Karlis Rutentals
Janis Kokins
Gundars Dzilums
Vitalijs Stankevics

Conductor Kaspars Putnins
Concept Hotel Pro Forma
Director Kirsten Dehlholm
Music direction Kaspars Putnins
Music Andy Stott, Krists Auznieks
Libretto Sjón
Lighting design Jesper Kongshaug
Stage design Anne Mette Fisker Langkjer
Visualisations Adam Ryde Ankarfeldt, Magnus Pind Bjerre
Sound design Kristian Hverring
Costumes Wali Mohammed Barrech
Video and set design assistant Fabian Nyberg
Photography Andreas Sommer


ICE Kraków Congress Centre

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The centre is a modern world class building, meeting the requirements of international congress organisations, as well as the highest acoustic and stage mechanics standards. The building has been designed in such a way as to host various types of congresses, conferences, concerts, theatrical shows, exhibitions and other prestigious cultural and social events. The high standard of the building place it among the most desired and exclusive congress centres in Europe.