‘Auksalaq’ is the Inupiat word for ‘melting snow/ice’. The narrative content is held together with a dramatic account of a boy’s journey, and incorporates testimonials from people in the region, social and political perspectives and scientific information along with characters personifying wind, sun, shifting ice, and clouds. These are layered with visual art, dance and music. Burtner’s score incorporates sung and spoken voices, instrumental soloists and ensembles, computer-generated sound, video and sonifications, including that of data on ice melt.
The technology requires Internet2 and cannot be streamed live. There are sequences from earlier performances here and here.
Explanations of how the opera works are here and here.