Klingons are one of the most familiar non-human species in the Star Trek universe. Of the nine television series, eight have featured storylines about the Klingons. A few of those shows feature a Klingon character as part of the ship’s bridge crew and include deep dives into Klingon politics and culture.
Since Klingons appear so often in the Star Trek universe, they’re one of the non-human species that fans know the most about. In fact, Klingon culture, language, and art have made their way into the real world thanks to fans who truly love these fictional beings. Cosplayers bring Klingons to life at conventions, people take classes to learn to speak Klingon, and the truly devoted fans have even recreated the height of Klingon artistic endeavors, Klingon Opera.
Live Klingon Opera Performances
Raks Geek is a troupe of dancers, singers, and fire spinners that add a geeky twist to all their performances. Their YouTube channel includes videos of their truly unique shows which include a belly dancing Chewbacca, a fire spinning Wonder Woman, a hooping Seven of Nine, and, of course, Klingon opera.
In the video above three cosplayers in full Klingon regalia, prosthetics, and makeup play their own accompaniment while singing in Klingon as a belly dancer twirls around the stage with traditional Klingon weapons. It’s truly a sight to see.
The troupe has also created some wonderful and hilarious cross-franchise performances. In the video above, the same group of Klingons performs a Klingon opera while a Wookie belly dancer shows off her moves.
The First True Klingon Opera, ‘u’
Though the videos from Raks Geek are delightful performances by talented folks, some, like the members of the Klingon Terran Research Ensemble (KTRE), would argue that they aren’t accurate representations of Klingon opera. For that, fans will need to check out the Dutch theatrical production, ‘u,’ which NPR called the “first ‘authentic’ Klingon opera by Terrans.”
The opera, which is a recreation of the Klingon masterpiece that tells the story of the legendary Khaless, was written by the KTRE with the help of a Klingon language specialist. Marc Okrand, a consultant on Star Trek, worked with the group to painstakingly analyze the clips of Klingon opera that have appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. They also claim to have read the ancient Klingon text paq’jachchcu, which outlines the technicalities of Klingon musical theory. From these references, they created a full-length Klingon opera.
The KTRE spent over a year putting the production together. They then performed the opera seven times at different theaters across Europe, including venues in Holland, Germany, and Croatia. According to its website, the group was planning a US tour in 2015, but it doesn’t appear that the tour ever happened.
The amount of time and energy put into these kinds of performances is a testament to the passion the Star Trek elicits in its fans. They don’t just love Star Trek they want to bring it to life, so they have.