Robots to Star in Opera
“Death and the Powers” is the first Robotic Opera ever produced, and is currently in development as a collaborative project by the MIT Media Lab and the American Repertory Theater. It is scheduled to open Fall of next year (2010), premiering internationally at locations including the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) in Massachusetts as well as the Chicago Opera Theater. Read on! You really want to hear the rest of this, it’s good!
What do Yo-Yo Ma, Prince and Guitar Hero have in common? Tod Machover, that’s what!
Composed by Tod Machover of MIT’s Media Lab, this opera will prove to be one of the freshest additions not only to the world of opera, but to the music world itself! See the video below to get the whole scoop directly from Mr. Machover himself. He speaks of the opera from minute 7:33 to 10:15, but I highly suggest watching the whole thing to get a better understanding of what this man does, and how he may have already changed the way humans understand and interact with music!
If you don’t have the 20 minutes it takes to watch the above video, or even the three minutes it takes to watch the segment I referred to, read this:
“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. Reaching the end of his life, 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.
New performance technologies for Death and the Powers are being 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.” source
Oh, and that little snippet didn’t mention the fact that the chandelier gobbles up the main character, the chorus of robots will interact, dance and perform autonomously, and that there are also living bookcases devoted to expressing the attitude of the disembodied librettist.
I have a feeling you’ve just found the time to go back and watch that clip.