Why Death and the Powers?

Paine Hall, Harvard University

We were pleased to discover the Boston Musical Intelligencer, an erudite and elegant blog edited by pianist and musicologist Robert Levin and devoted to the classical music scene in Boston. They recently published a highly informative article about Tod Machover and his new opera, Death and the Powers. The article delves deeply into Tod’s musical influences and motivation. He talks about why he has invested so much energy in creating new types of live music performance technology, and discusses how two of his teachers, Roger Sessions and Elliott Carter, influenced him. He also reveals why he was drawn to poet Robert Pinsky to create an original story and libretto for Death and the Powers.

The article concludes with Tod challenging the public’s perception of opera as a cultural dinosaur. “I think that by going back to the roots of what opera was always meant to be — passionately human stories, expressed through amazing music, presented via the most effective techniques and technologies available — we will find that the best and most exciting work is yet to come.”

Read the full article here: Machover, Touching with Sound

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