Annie is an astronomer. She knows all about time and space, but she isn’t so sure about life and death. And she’s just gone deaf.We invite you to a multi-sensory opera based on the life of Annie Jump Cannon, exploring ways of hearing and the relationship between the Universe and ourselves.Suitable for people who can hear and people who can’t.
Inspired by the life of astronomer Annie Jump-Cannon, Stephen and Sarah are making a new kind of opera that finds new ways of communicating and engaging with sound and music. We will be bringing multi-disciplinary practitioners together in a collaborative environment, and you can see the results at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival on August 11th & 12th.
About Annie Jump-Cannon
Born in Dover, Delaware in 1864, Annie learnt about the stars from her mother, a keen amateur astronomer. After attending one of the first ladies colleges in America, Annie gained her degree in 1884, specialising in Maths and Physics. She returned home, but found domestic life quite dull after her college experience.
Annie’s mother died suddenly in 1894, leaving Annie devastated. After several months battling with her grief, she came to the conclusion that her only choice was to find something to keep her busy. She went back to college, where she took up astronomy professionally, becoming part of Pickering’s ground-breaking team at Harvard, where she was to live and work until her death in 1941.
Around the time of her mother’s death, Annie’s hearing began to deteriorate badly. Despite her hearing impairment, and being one of the only woman in her field, Annie rose to the top of her profession. An expert in the new study of Spectroscopy, Annie was responsible for cataloguing over 300,000 stars in her life time. She had incredible focus, a unique view of the Universe and a twinkle in her eye.