Words: Marc Abrahams
Music: Jacques Offenbach, Giuseppe Verdi, and Arthur Sullivan
(And thanks to Mary Ellen Davey, Harriet Provine, Dany Adams, and Carl Zimmer for bacteriological insights, and Robert Csillag, DDS, and his staff for inspiration on microbial matters.)
The Bacterial Opera premiered as part of the 20th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Sanders Theater, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, on September 30, 2010.
Video of the performance can be seen at www.improbable.com.
Stage manager and conductor: David Stockton
Kirkospocokococcus: Maria Ferrante
Gallileococcus: Ben Sears
Sidekickococcus: Roberta Gilbert
Accordionococcus: Thomas Michel
Bacillusnameless: Marc Andelman
The woman: Jenny Gutbezahl
Supporting bacilli: Sheldon Glashow, Roy Glauber, William Lipscomb, James Muller, Frank Wilczek, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Jason Webley, Mary Ellen Davey, Rich Losick, and a multitude of bacteria.
Pianist: Branden Grimmett
Costume designer: Jenn Martinez.
The characters are a WOMAN, who spends the entire time—except at the very end—sitting on a chair napping with her mouth open so we can see her teeth, and the BACTERIA who live on one of her front teeth. Those bacteria, KIRKOSPOCKOCOCCUS, SIDEKICKOCOCCUS, and GALLILEOCOCCUS, do all the singing. Most of the characters on stage are non-singing bacteria. In the premiere one bacterium played the accordion.