Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

This week on The Space: Helicopter opera and more

  • Date: 20 August 2012
  • Area: National
Musicians performing in helicopter

Stockhausen's Helicopter String Quartet will be streamed live on The Space on Wednesday 22 August. Credit: David Jenson

The Space is a free digital arts service developed by Arts Council England in partnership with the BBC that aims to transform the way people connect with, and experience, arts and culture by showcasing innovative content from artists, arts and cultural organisations.

Every week new exciting content is added. Here is a snapshot of what's to come.

Watch the premiere of Stockhausen's Helicopter opera live online

At 7pm, Wednesday 22 August, visitors to The Space can watch a live stream of Helicopter String Quartet, from Karlheinz Stockhausen's formidable six-hour opera Mittwoch aus Licht.

Staged by Birmingham Opera Company for the London 2012 Festival, the piece will be performed by the Elysian Quartet in four flying helicopters stationed above a former chemical plant in Birmingham. In addition there will be performances from choirs, Ex Cathedra and London Voices, a number of flying solo instrumentalists accompanied by live electronic and acoustic music. This is the first time the opera has ever been performed in its entirety.

Three archive films about Stockhausen, his work and philosophy are currently available on The Space in the run up to the screening.

Also on The Space this week

On Monday 20 August, you can download the second instalment in Lauren Laverne's podcast series Lauren's Spacepod 2012, where she will be reporting on the highlights of Europe's largest ever street art event, See No Evil, in Bristol.

On Tuesday 21 August find out who music fanatic John Peel listened to beginning with the letter 'Q', as the journey through his record collection continues.

You can currently watch Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, performed in Shona (a native language of Zimbabwe) and set in a Zimbabwean township by Two Gents Productions. From Wednesday 22 August watch Troilus and Cressida by New Zealand theatre group, Te Haimihiata. Both productions are brought to you as part of Globe to Globe.

From Wednesday 22 August, listen to the fifth movement of Benjamin Till's The London Requiem, inspired by the words written on tombstones in and around London graveyards.

Find out who Tom Roden and Pete Shenton, of New Art Club, meet in the next episode of Dance East's magazine series Come Dance With Me, available from Friday 24 August. The series aims to demystify the world of dance.

Recent Highlights still available on The Space

Watch Venus, Bringer of Peace, the second movement in Holst's Planet Suite, performed by The Philharmonia Orchestra and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. Performances from the perspective of the players and the conductor are available on The Space and accompany the current Universe of Sound installation at the Science Museum.

Watch renowned artist Baaba Maal perform at A Room For London, during his stay at Art Angel's riverboat-inspired one-bedroom installation perched atop London's Southbank Centre.

Theatre company Northern Stage is taking over a 19th century church to present a series of work for this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Watch tasters of the plays on The Space.

View portraits from the Photographers' Gallery's The World in London exhibition, depicting Londoners from each of the 204 nations competing in London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Experience Kafka's Wound, an innovative re-imaging of the digital essay by writer Will Self, commissioned by The Space and London Review of Books.


Further information

You can access The Space now at or by viewing on connected TV or The Space channel (Freeview HD channel 232).

Find out more about our involvement in The Space.

Find out about our involvement in the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.