INK Talk just posted

This video from the talk Tod Machover gave at INK (Kochi, India) last fall was just posted online. Overview of a variety of recent projects including “city symphonies”, and a discussion of doing something similar in India. Check out their post here.

PBS Newshour on Opera of the Future

PBS Newshour featured the Opera of the Future group tonight. If you missed the broadcast, you can watch it here: Singing robots reflect tech’s humanity in opera of the future

21c Liederabend (Reviews)

Last week’s 21c Liederabend at the Brooklyn Academy of Music garnered some media attention. Here’s the New York Times’ review: A Wink Toward Tradition in a Modern Evening. Public radio station WNYC provided a preview and aired “Sophia’s Aria” from Tod Machover’s opera VALIS. Listen here: A Modern Liederabend.

This year’s 21c Lieberabend included a performance of “Miranda’s Aria” from “Death and the Powers,” performed by Sara Heaton, who performed the role in Boston and Chicago. Here’s a video of the original performance by Joélle Harvey in Monaco. She will return as Miranda in the Dallas Opera’s production next February.

Resurrection: Act 2 Scene 2 – Finale

Resurrection captures an unusual love story between Prince Nekhlyudov (Scott Hendricks) and the serving girl Maslova (Joyce DiDonato). Though divided by class, their fates become intertwined when the Prince sits on the jury that unjustly condemns the young woman to prison. Despite a merciless justice system that does not allow for second chances, an amazing story of courage and redemption emerges.

Act 2 Scene 2 – Finale

Maslova, now no longer a prisoner, decides to stay with Simonson, much to Nekhlyudov’s despair (“Katusha, you are free”). Nekhlyudov now pleads with her, but although she loves him, she knows he can never really love her as before. She charges him to go back into the world and use his wealth and position to change it as she does in her small way: one person to another.

As the prisoners go wearily to start another day’s work, and Maslova tends Simonson’s wounds, Nekhlyudov walks off into the dawn.

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Resurrection: Act 2 Scene 2, “Katusha, you are free”

Resurrection captures an unusual love story between Prince Nekhlyudov (Scott Hendricks) and the serving girl Maslova (Joyce DiDonato). Though divided by class, their fates become intertwined when the Prince sits on the jury that unjustly condemns the young woman to prison. Despite a merciless justice system that does not allow for second chances, an amazing story of courage and redemption emerges.

Act 2 Scene 2, “Katusha, you are free”

In the prison camp, Nekhlyudov has won Maslova’s pardon and brings the document to her. He notices the tension in the room. Suddenly, several guards drag Simonson out for a flogging; Nekhlyudov follows. He can’t believe what he has seen. When Simonson is returned to the room, Maslova begins to dress his wounds. Nekhlyudov asks the prisoners how this awful system can be changed. They reply that revolution is the only way–the rulers must be overthrown and treated just as badly. Simonson, in agony, says there is another way: Maslova’s way, transforming people with kindness, one person to another.

Simonson asks to speak to Nekhlyudov in private. He wants to marry Maslova, but she will not agree unless Nekhlyudov approves. Nekhlyudov now believes he loves Maslova. He tells her about the pardon and the two men ask her to choose between them. Maslova, now no longer a prisoner, decides to stay with Simonson, much to Nekhlyudov’s despair. Nekhlyudov now pleads with her, but although she loves him, she knows he can never really love her as before.

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Resurrection: Act 2 Scene 1, “Do I love her?”

Resurrection captures an unusual love story between Prince Nekhlyudov (Scott Hendricks) and the serving girl Maslova (Joyce DiDonato). Though divided by class, their fates become intertwined when the Prince sits on the jury that unjustly condemns the young woman to prison. Despite a merciless justice system that does not allow for second chances, an amazing story of courage and redemption emerges.

Act 2 Scene 1, “Do I love her?”

The prisoners are marching to Siberia through the snow (“Siberian March”). Nekhlyudov carries a petition to the Emperor which Maslova must sign. He is shocked by the brutal treatment of the prisoners, especially when he learns the nature of some of their crimes. Maslova is overjoyed to see him, and to his amazement he sees that she has changed. The old Maslova is being reborn. She introduces him to Peter Simonson, a schoolmaster convicted for teaching “subversive” literature. Their conversation is interrupted when an officer tries to take a five-year-old girl out of her sick father’s arms in order to chain his hands. The prisoner, Kriltsov, will not let the girl go. When Simonson intervenes, the officer promises to have him flogged. Nekhlyudov gives the officers a bribe and Maslova assists the father and child (“Maslova’s Lullaby”). As Maslova rejoins the line, Nekhlyudov is in despair; he has felt the first stirrings of love for her.

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Tod Machover interview from Aspen

From genConnect, here’s an interview recorded this past June during the Aspen Ideas Festival.  In the interview, composer Tod Machover of the MIT Media Lab describes how he invited the citizens of Toronto to compose “A Toronto Symphony,” which was performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in the spring of 2013. The collaboration produced a portrait of Toronto that Machover hopes to replicate in other cities.

Resurrection: Act 2 Scene 1, Maslova’s Lullaby

Resurrection captures an unusual love story between Prince Nekhlyudov (Scott Hendricks) and the serving girl Maslova (Joyce DiDonato). Though divided by class, their fates become intertwined when the Prince sits on the jury that unjustly condemns the young woman to prison. Despite a merciless justice system that does not allow for second chances, an amazing story of courage and redemption emerges.

Act 2 Scene 1, Maslova’s Lullaby

The prisoners are marching to Siberia through the snow (see “Siberian March”). Nekhlyudov carries a petition to the Emperor which Maslova must sign. He is shocked by the brutal treatment of the prisoners, especially when he learns the nature of some of their crimes. Maslova is overjoyed to see him, and to his amazement he sees that she has changed. The old Maslova is being reborn. She introduces him to Peter Simonson, a schoolmaster convicted for teaching “subversive” literature. Their conversation is interrupted when an officer tries to take a five-year-old girl out of her sick father’s arms in order to chain his hands. The prisoner, Kriltsov, will not let the girl go. When Simonson intervenes, the officer promises to have him flogged. Nekhlyudov gives the officers a bribe and Maslova assists the father and child.

Continue reading

Resurrection: Act 2 Scene 1, Siberian March

Resurrection captures an unusual love story between Prince Nekhlyudov (Scott Hendricks) and the serving girl Maslova (Joyce DiDonato). Though divided by class, their fates become intertwined when the Prince sits on the jury that unjustly condemns the young woman to prison. Despite a merciless justice system that does not allow for second chances, an amazing story of courage and redemption emerges.

Act 2 Scene 1, Siberian March

The prisoners are marching to Siberia through the snow. Nekhlyudov carries a petition to the Emperor which Maslova must sign. He is shocked by the brutal treatment of the prisoners, especially when he learns the nature of some of their crimes.

Continue reading

Resurrection: Act 1 Scene 5 – “Look at me”

Resurrection captures an unusual love story between Prince Nekhlyudov (Scott Hendricks) and the serving girl Maslova (Joyce DiDonato). Though divided by class, their fates become intertwined when the Prince sits on the jury that unjustly condemns the young woman to prison. Despite a merciless justice system that does not allow for second chances, an amazing story of courage and redemption emerges.

Act 1 Scene 5, The Prison

Nekhlyudov consults a lawyer to appeal Maslova’s sentence, but he realizes that he must do more. He wants to do his part to destroy a society that allows the rich to use the poor in any way they please. He makes a plan to sell all his possessions and divide his land among the peasants who work it. His family and the Korchagins desperately try to talk him out of it, but he renounces his former lifestyle.

Nekhlyudov returns to the prison to have Maslova sign her appeal. He tells her that if the appeal fails he will petition the Emperor. She is drunk. He asks her again to forgive him, and tells her he will marry her. Infuriated, she mocks his “noble” offer. Nekhlyudov hands her a photograph of herself, taken at the May Day festival. She is moved; the photo reminds her of the young woman she once was.

Later, the inspector enters with news that her appeal has been denied, and that she will leave on the next transport for Siberia. Though Nekhlyudov has promised he will not abandon her, Maslova is certain she has seen the last of him.

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