Who are we?

Opera of the Future, under the leadership of composer Tod Machover at the M.I.T. Media Laboratory, explores concepts and techniques to help advance the future of musical composition, performance, learning, and expression. The mission of this blog and website are to take you inside Opera of the Future’s creative process of bringing new works of music into the world. Please subscribe to this blog to receive email alerts about our latest postings, event updates and activities.

Recent major projects include:

Overstory Overture, commissioned by the International Sejong Soloists, premiered at Lincoln Center in March 2023, with Joyce DiDonato.

Schoenberg in Hollywood, commissioned by the Boston Lyric Opera, premiered in Boston in November of 2018. Next performance in April, 2022, in Vienna, Austria.

Gammified – commissioned by the Kronos Quartet – is based on MIT neuroscience research showing that audio and visual signals in the 40 Hz. range can stimulate the brain in diverse ways, reverse brain amyloid (in mice), and may be a potential treatment for Alzheimer disease. The Kronos Quartet premiered the work at the MIT Media Lab in April 2019. Watch archived live-streamed video of the premiere performance and discussion (starts at 6:35), and listen to an audio excerpt of Gammified here.

Philadelphia Voices, commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, was premiered in April 2018 at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

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For additional music with video, see Video. For press reviews of music, see Buzz

Tod Machover Recorded Music

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Tod Machover is Musical America’s 2016 Composer of the Year

Translating the Music of Trees Into the Sounds of Opera

“Death and the Powers” a Finalist for 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music

Buzz from the world premiere performances of Schoenberg in Hollywood

The New York Times on “Cheesesteak at Carnegie Hall”

“Death and the Powers doesn’t point the way to a new era of opera. It’s there. Now.” – Philadelphia Inquirer

“Schoenberg in Hollywood works splendidly as theater, and as an opera whose score allows its clever libretto to work its magic, seems likely to follow Machover’s previous successes.” – Keith Powers, Classical Voice North America

“…Machover, voluble and friendly in person, confounds expectations. Valis, based on a science-fiction novel by Philip K. Dick and dubbed “the first opera of the twenty-first century,” now sounds anything but scary, and his last three operas, Resurrection, Skellig and Death and the Powers, have rare emotional depth. Machover, now a fully mature composer, is unafraid of harnessing the old-fashioned powers of opera, unafraid of sentimentality, unafraid of C major.” — Philip Kennicott in Opera News, October 2013

“Machover is a remarkable composer.  [His] technological inventions in giving to sounds, through electronics, new sonorities, new eloquence, have been widely and amply acclaimed.  But I’d like to stress what a good opera composer he is, bringing the ‘traditional’, necessary skills to a far from traditional work. Machover has a command of expressive vocal gesture.  He sets words sensitively, with a feeling for the natural weight, stress and length of syllables rare today.  Voices and instrumental/electronic sound are well balanced.  The final duet is a moving modern addition to the great line of father-daughter exchanges: Boccanegra-Amelia, Rigoletto-Gilda, even Wotan- Brünnhilde.  This was a grand, rich, deeply serious new opera, presented by a team with manifold coherent accomplishments.” — Andrew Porter in Opera Magazine January 2011

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