The current issue of Nature features an interview with Tod about Death and the Powers. Because the venerable science journal lacks a music or opera review section (what an oversight!), the interview ended up under Book reviews. In the interview, Tod explains why he has been drawn time and again to creating operas: “With the world being fragmented and busy, there is something powerful about going to a public place and experiencing something that is never going to happen again. Opera also attracts me because it is a hybrid, pragmatic form that has always sought to pull every possible discipline into its orbit — much like the MIT Media Lab encompasses so many areas of human exploration. Opera may seem to be a traditional form, but it is ripe for, and open to, reinvention.”
To read the full article, you will need to have an active subscription with Nature or purchase the article online. Here’s the publicly accessible entry from the online issue:
Q&A: Tod Machover on personal music
Abstract: The inventor and composer, whose group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab developed the technology behind Guitar Hero, has electronically customized instruments for musicians from Prince to Yo-Yo Ma. As Machover prepares for the world premiere of his robotic opera Death and the Powers in Monaco in September, he explains how his interactive performance techniques might lead to personalized therapies.
BOOK REVIEWED-Death and the Powers
Composed by Tod Machover. Libretto by Robert Pinsky. Directed by Diane Paulus
25–26 September 2010, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Monaco. See http://go.nature.com/9bQ6B7
What is the opera about?Mortality.