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  • Tod Machover: reviews of Death and the Powers in Monaco

  • Machover: Death and the Powers premiere in Monte Carlo
    (August 2010)
    Death and the Powers is a new opera by composer Tod Machover developed at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with the American Repertory Theater. It is a one-act, full evening work that tells the story of Simon Powers, a successful and powerful businessman and inventor, who wants to go beyond the bounds of humanity.

    The new opera receives its world premiere on 24 September 2010 at l'Opéra de Monte-Carlo; its United States premiere on 18 March 2011 with Harvard's American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) and Opera Boston; and its Midwest premiere on 2 April 2011 at Chicago Opera Theater.

    Tickets available from:
    > Monte Carlo: 24 (private gala performance)/25/26 September 2010
    > Boston: 18/20/22/25 March 2011
    > Chicago: 2/6/8/10 April 2011

    Reaching the end of his life, Simon Powers faces the question of his legacy: “When I die, what remains? What will I leave behind? What can I control? What can I perpetuate?” He is now conducting the last experiment of his life, passing from one form of existence to another in an effort to project himself into the future. Whether or not he is actually alive is a question. Simon Powers is himself now a System. His family, friends and associates must decide what this means, how it affects them, and whether to follow.

    This cutting-edge work explores themes of mortality and legacy, and what we leave behind of ourselves for the world and our loved ones. Machover-called "America's most wired composer" by the Los Angeles Times-elegantly blends his technological and artistic expertise to create an inventive score filled with arching melodic lines, richly nuanced textures and propulsive rhythms. Death and the Powers additionally introduces specially-designed technology and an animated set-including a chorus of robots and a musical chandelier-assuredly launching a new era in opera production and expression.

    New performance technologies for Death and the Powers have been developed at the MIT Media Lab, including a new technique of Disembodied Performance to translate Simon’s offstage performance into an expressively animated stage. Other novel “instruments” include a Musical Chandelier and a chorus of robots.

    > Visit the Death and the Powers website
    > Read a press release about the opera

    > Further information on Death and the Powers

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