Stockhausen's Helicopter String Quartet is to be heard in its intended context for the very first time when Birmingham Opera Company mounts a production of Stockhausen's Mittwoch aus Licht (Wednesday from Light) this summer.

The flying quartet is only one part of the opera, a five-hour epic that also features two choirs, live electronic and acoustic music, and more flying solo instrumentalists. The opera, which has never before been given a complete performance, will be staged at Birmingham's Argyll Works, a former chemical plant, from 22 to 25 August as part of the London 2012 Festival.