The Big Bank Opera (video)

“The Big Bank Opera” premiered as a featured part of the 2009 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. Here’s the entire mini-opera — Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 and Act 4 — each as a separate episode (#124-7) of the Improbable Research TV series. The video displayed below is Act 3, which is called “The Big Bank Theory”:


The plot: Stylish bankers in a swanky Wall Street bar explain the explosive rise and fall of big banking and big bankers.

Music by L.v. Beethoven & G. Rossini, and words by Marc Abrahams.

Starring Maria Ferrante and Ben Sears, and Branden Grimmett, conducted by David Stockton. The premiere, seen here, was on October 1, 2009 as part of the 2009 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University.

Bar patrons: Benoit Mandelbrot, Stephen Wolfram, John Barrett, Wade Adams, Nobel laureates Rich Roberts, Wolfgang Ketterle, Dudley Herschbach, Paul Krugman, Roy Glauber, Frank Wilczek, Martin Chalfie, Orhan Pamuk, and William Lipscomb; and many Ig Nobel Prize winners.

Bonus videos: See early rehearsals of Act 1 and Act 3, conducted at the home of Nobel laureate / performer William Lipscomb.

[Edited to add: These videos are now available on Vimeo as well.]