Black Rock City
1996-2004
       (2012 ..??)

 
Though the history of Fire Lingams goes back over 6000 years, at Burning Man it began in 1991 CE, when a sculpture by Pepe Ozan first burned on the playa.

In the early years, there were two main community burns: the Friday night ritual burn of "Pepe's Tower", then the burning of the Man himself the following evening.

Each year the Friday Tower Burn ritual became more elaborate. Preparations drew on the talents of theater professionals, musicians, dancers, costumers, and mask-makers. On the playa, everyone was invited to participate, and a large percentage of burners present did.

By 1996 these rituals were renamed the Burning Man Opera. Each opera took inspiration from a different religious tradition or myth. Favored in each tradition were the possibilities for expressing Dionysian ecstatic release through theatrical reenactment.


It is the year ll58 AD, Constaninople. When a treacherous Cardinal reveals that the Empress Zoe is a hermaphrodite, she is condemned to be drowned in the Bosporous.

The High Priest of Hell incites the jealousy of the Graces, who assist him in the Infinite Recreation of Fire.

Satan, embodied as a goat to please His wife, is amused by the events that threaten the very Balance of the Universe. As Chaos erupts, the Mantra singing of 50 devotees and 1000 participating audience members helps to save the Universe.

From the Great Above to the Great Below, 100 devotees, supported by an emotional audience and opposed by the Nissabas, demons of the Underworld, helped re-established the Cosmic Order by accompanying the Goddess of Love in her quest to rescue Tamuz to the world of the living.

On the night of the final lunar eclipse of the millennium, an ancient Dravidian Fire Ceremony was enacted on the playa. Participants and audience summoned the Cosmic Desire that engendered the Beginning of Time in a rite of Ecstasy and Sacralization.
     

In a ceremony of Mystery and Sacralization, the members of the five sects of Playa Voudoun (the green-mudded snake-people of Damballah; the red, fire wielding knights of Ogoun; the white-veiled, erotic Ezilis; the black-draped, morbidly obscene yet capricious Guede; and the energetic drummers and builders of Couzin Azaka) invaded the flaming Sacrosanct Pentagon.

At the climax of the rite, altars, stages and giant totems were set ablaze. Frenetically dancing to the fire, the Children of the Spirits, followed by all Burning Man participants in attendance, pierced the flaming Portal of Life and Death in an initiation by fire into the new era.

THE THAUR-TAURS OF ATLAN

For two weeks in the desert, the Troupe of the Traditional Burning Man Opera boldly recreated life as it was lived thousands of years ago, during the visit of the Pleiadians to our planet.

OPERA CAMP 2001: OPERA DIASPORA

Though there was no Opera in 2001, Opera Diaspora Camp served as base for Annie Hallat's Black Madonnas sculpture and a place for throat-singing and other performance workshops.

OPERA 2002: THE ARK OF THE NEREIDS

2002 featured Pepe Ozan's first mobile playa sculpture, the fabulous Ark of the Nereids...


...an Opera directed by Christopher Fuelling prepared weeks in advance at SongDog Ranch...

...and an Arkipelago of teaching "islands," notably Grady Cousins' daily sessions of group voice inspired by Balinese Monkey Chant, as well as gorgeous music composed by maestro Eric Oberthaler.


OPERA CAMP 2003: OMPHALOS LANTERN AND TEMPLACE ORACLE

Oracle ceremeony in the stye of Velaquez

2003 saw a mini-opera presenting an elaborate oracular ritual before the flaming Omphalos Lantern.

Omphalos Oracle Ritual

Omphalos 3D
People of Opera Camp 3D
Other Playa Sculptures 3D

 

 

OPERA CAMP 2004: SPIRAL EYE OF THE CELESTIAL FALCON

In 2004 once again an Annie Hallatt sculpture inspired a mini-Opera.

Invoking the myths of ancient Greece, the sculpture and related pageantry was entitled Spiral Eye of the Celestial Falcon.

Temple of Rudra Papa Loko Arrival of Empress Zoe Daughters of Ishtar
Details here about INVOCATION, a public sculpture by Pepe Ozan installed in San Francisco.


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