“Guitar Hero Goes to the Opera” – The Atlantic

“The story is as old as humanity itself. A man—in this case a successful businessman—grapples with his own mortality and wants desperately to leave a legacy after he dies. But this story has never been told as composer Tod Machover tells it.” So begins this excellent article about Death and the Powers, just out in The Atlantic. The writer Ada Brunstein does a masterful job of explaining the opera’s technology, and emphasizes that the shape-shifting walls, robots and chandelier (love this: “I don’t think a string has ever been so salaciously plucked”) are never meant to upstage the singers. She writes:

“What “technology tends to do in live performance these days,” [Machover] told me, “is shrink people. I wanted to see how can we use technology to really enhance the presence of human beings.” This sensibility guides Machover’s vision of music’s future. He wants to develop, he said, a “new form of Personal Opera, so that anyone can combine sounds, images, and stories to make musical narratives about themselves or about their loved ones.”

The article has a lovely slide show of images from Death and the Powers. Read it here: “Guitar Hero Goes to the Opera: How the video game’s godfather plans to democratize one of the oldest musical art forms”

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