A toxic enchantment

Vinyl crackles… a locked groove… the breaking of plastic waves. In an attic of bubble wrap, the story of our synthetic world is unpacked. 1907; excitement dawns as the dawning of Synthetica promises the end of poverty and exploiting our natural world… no need for ivory… a glorious democracy built with this material of endless forms. The polymer parade begins; the spell of Bakelite is cast; the scintillation of cellophane, advertising and consumerism takes hold; easy wipe clean living, the immorality of single use throwaways.

Synthetica is a fractured sung narrative exploring the Midas touch of our times… so much made possible within the heartbeat of environmental catastrophe.

Now available here as chaptered video pieces, Synthetica has been translated into an interactive online opera experience and is accessible to all.

Produced by Museum of Design in Plastics, Arts University Bournemouth


A stage set with the three cast members surrounded by bubble wrap.

The Cast

Soprano: Brittany Soriano

Trumpet: Elaine Close

Vinyl: Ole Rudd

Voice Overs: Fraser Wilson


The Production Team

Composer: Karen Wimhurst

Director: Katharine Piercey

Costume: Paige Gregory & Sandra Philips

Sound Production: Ed Bersey

Educational Resources: Lucy Turner

Museum Resources: MoDiP

Video Production: Ed Bersey, Karen Wimhurst, Lucy Turner