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Internet Opera Rings in 2000

Netizens worldwide can ring in the new year 24 times, with a 24-act collective opera created by the project Big Opera Mundi (BOM) 2000.

BOM 2000 is the brainchild of the multidisciplinary Catalonian performance group La Fura dels Baus. The 24-act/24-hour work is set for midnight, January 1. Following the Earth's rotation, each act will usher a time zone into the new millennium.

"We came up with the idea thinking, 'wouldn't it be fantastic if an extraterrestrial came to Earth the night the millennium changed, to find one big party, the entire planet celebrating together?'" said Carlos Padrissa, project director. Padrissa proposed using the Internet and other forms of global communication to bring about an interactive, "telepathic" event where "everyone is an artist."

"The idea is that you're moving along as the Earth revolves, so each second you advance half a kilometer or 250 meters," Padrissa stated. "it's easy to keep track of, so everyone can have a second or two... It's a lot of information, but there can be room for everyone because it's 24 hours."

Netizens who connect to La Fura's webcam can see how e-mail contributions are used in the creation of the "Millennium Man" in Barcelona. This section of the collective work is sponsored by the telecommunications company Airtel.

From its origins in avant-garde street theatre in 1979, La Fura dels Baus grew in a large performance company fusing many artistic traditions. It gained global attention with its opening ceremony at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

With BOM 2000, the group advocates "wild imagination" on the part of Net-based collaborators and "would like to prolong this on-line commemoration as long as the internauts so desire."