Death and the Powers opens in Chicago

Cloud Gate

Death and the Powers was successfully launched this past Saturday night for its week-long run with the Chicago Opera Theater. The production looks and sounds fabulous in the Harris Theater. Unlike the ornate, traditional venues in Monaco and Boston, the Harris has a dark, industrial modern design that harmonizes beautifully with the futuristic set. The theater is perched at the edge of Millennium Park, which is a giant candy box for design enthusiasts. We enjoyed a splendid day there, admiring the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Jaume Plensa’s immense glass wall with projected images of faces, savoring an avant-garde locavore lunch in Renzo Piano’s contemporary wing of the Institute of Art, and spending ridiculous amounts of time playing at Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate. We would happily move to Chicago! Can someone come up with a way to install Death and the Powers permanently at Millennium Park? In the meantime, the first Chicago reviews have come in:

Chicago Tribune – COT’s dazzling ‘robot opera’ poses provocative new questions
We couldn’t have asked for a better review than this one by the Tribune’s John von Rhein. He undestands every aspect of the music, story, design and production. “”Death and the Powers” is a must-see for anybody who cares about the exciting new techno-driven directions music theater is taking in the early 21st century.”

Chicago Sun-Times – “Robot opera less than meets the eye”
Andrew Patner appreciates the operabots, technology and performances: “The ideas here are strong, and at an intermissionless 90 minutes and with a solid cast and surprisingly strong and beautifully integrated computerized lighting and staging effects, this is something anyone concerned with either the opera or the future in general ought to see.” But he thinks the text is “lacking in metaphor, indirection and development” and that Machover’s score is “more an accompaniment to his many ideas than a realization of them.”

Media Tech Connection – High tech Chicago opera takes a unique futuristic approach “The opera concluded with an open ending that leaves the adience guessing, and also a message to think about about the issues from a personal perspective.  The interpretation and outcome is left for the viewer to decide.  Indeed, after the performance, our group discussed the story and its meaning for hours afterwards.”

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3 thoughts on “Death and the Powers opens in Chicago

  1. I know what you mean about Chicago. An actor friend of mine lives there (regrettably he’s away this week and can’t see DATP), and I’ve had a great time on occasional visits. Properlly speaking–in my opinion, anyway–you can’t say you’ve done Chicago if you haven’t had a Chicago-style hot dog somewhere. Either that or Chicago-style pizza.

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