FORTY members of the Orchestra of Opera North have created a igital performance during the lockdown.

The musical piece, entitled 2020: An Isolation Odyssey, can be seen on YouTube as part of Opera North’s online programme during the coronavirus outbreak.

The recording came about after coronavirus caused the cancellation of the orchestra’s concert performances of Richard Strauss’ 1896 tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra.

Also Sprach Zarathustra is one of the most famous pieces of music of all time, thanks to Stanley Kubrick’s use of its blazing opening fanfare in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and its borrowing since then by everyone from Elvis Presley to the World Wrestling Federation. Its celebration of humanity’s questing, resourceful nature took on a special resonance for Opera North’s

Cellist Daniel Bull and viola player Lourenço Macedo Sampaio decided to bring forty of their colleagues together, in sync and under social distancing restrictions, to perform its opening five minutes.

They got in touch with Swedish conductor Tobias Ringborg, who had been due to take the podium for the concerts at Huddersfield and Leeds Town Halls, and he conducted pianist Bengt Forsberg in a little wooden church in Stockholm.

Footage went to 40 musicians, who donned full concert dress and recorded their parts in kitchens, spare rooms and gardens. The incidents were added to the recording one by one to create a full performance.

Type 2020: An Isolation Odyssey into the YouTube search box to find the performance.