Whitacre - Paradise Lost

Premiered in concert in Berlin in 2003, Eric Whitacre's incredible electronic choral opera features the piece used in Virtual Choir 4, Bliss.

Take Eric Whitacre's trademark choral music, complete with cluster harmonies and powerful vocal lines. Add lyrics by director David Norona and the composer himself, and combine with electronic music, Asian drumming and Japanese anime. The result is Whitacre's incredible theatrical work, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings - the story of a post-apocalyptic tribe of angels.

After being abandoned by their parents, a host of young angels are trapped in a prison. Hidden away for protection 17 years ago, the young angels train constantly in order to fight the darkness that awaits on the other side of their captivity. One of the angels, Exstasis, has faith in a better world outside the prison, and is compelled to search for her hidden wings in order to fly to the unknown paradise.

Following performances in Los Angeles in 2007 and in New York's Carnegie Hall in 2010, Paradise Lost found a whole new audience thanks to the Virtual Choir 4 project (VC4), which reworks Bliss from the original musical. Taking the simple lyrics sung by Extasis ("Fly, fly to paradise"), the choir parts will be remixed with the electronic influences present in the musical to create an dance music-inspired choral fusion. The standalone piece will be premiered in July 2013 at Buckingham Palace, London, ahead of the musical's opening on the West End.