MIT News: Disembodied Performance

Tod Machover’s Death and the Powers, which features robots as performers, premieres this month. Is this the future of opera?

There’s a great feature story from the M.I.T. news office today about Death and the Powers. The story provides an excellent overview of the opera and goes into some depth on Tod Machover’s vision to develop technologies that enhance the audience’s connection with live, human performance. Accompanying the story is a dazzling video that provides a foretaste of the opera. Death and the Powers premieres at a gala opening on September 24 in Monaco.

A quote from the article:

This creative fusion of music and technology could reposition opera as an art form that embraces innovation, says Marc Scorca, president and CEO of Opera America, a nonprofit that serves U.S. opera companies. He notes that for hundreds of years, opera was known for welcoming innovation through new technologies and instrumentation. But that role was usurped in the late 19th century when film emerged as the most innovative art form; opera appeared staid in comparison.

“I’m always cheering when I see opera once again reasserting itself as the richest tapestry for innovative, live art,” Scorca says.

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