Moonlit Sonata: Opera Comes to the Planetarium

Mixing lasers with opera

For the first time ever, the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, will be transformed into an intimate opera house with a performance of a rarely seen opera.

Using the Planetarium's 180-degree dome and projections, the Gotham Chamber Orchestra will combine live music and a laser light show for its production of "The World Of the Moon".

The opera, written by Joseph Haydn and said to be one of this favorite operas, was first performed in 1777. 

It tells the story of a nobleman who refuses to let his daughters marry their true loves. With the help of a fake astronomer and a sleeping potion, the daughters trick their father into believing he's been sent to the moon, where he discovers they do things differently, especially when it comes to courtship. On the moon, women are allowed to choose their own husbands!

The shows are being touted as a completely new kind of theatrical event, led by Diane Paulus, who directed the Tony Award-winning revival of "Hair" on Broadway.

There are four performances, beginning January 20th. Tickets are $30-$125 and are available at or by phone at 212-279-4200.

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