Haider Al Timimi text, actor – Sarah Eisa text – Dipika Singh vocals – Bart Capelle dramaturgy – Jos Verbist coaching – Tim Gistelynck music

A Belgian-Iraqi architect is invited to build an opera house over the ruins of Baghdad. His great inspiration is the acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid. Laden with his cultural baggage, the architect sets off in the company of an opera singer. She wants Puccini to be heard through the streets of Iraq. But before the opera house can be inaugurated the building collapses, killing both of them. However, their ghosts will not be deterred.

Why does a country at war want to surpass the highest tower in the world? Is it better to build on foundations of history or on wasteland? Why won't the Gravensteen in Ghent make room for social housing? And when Palmyra is demolished by fundamentalists, do we cry for the people or for the monuments?

Utopera is a poetic performance in which music, singing, movement and staging play the main roles. Haider Al Timimi and Dipika Singh give voice to the stones and ruins that are normally silent.