Reviews of “Death and the Powers” in Dallas

Nathan Hunsinger/Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer
Nathan Hunsinger/Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer

Congratulations to the cast, crew and incredible team that pulled off last night’s flawless opening night performance of the Dallas Opera’s production of “Death and the Powers”!! Much relief all around that the Operabots, moving walls and chandelier were all in splendid working order after three years in the warehouse.

Reviews are coming in! The Dallas Morning News’s morning-after review noted that the singers “get lines of remarkable naturalness, from speech-song to genuinely beautiful arias, duets and ensembles,” and said “it’s hard to imagine a finer performance, staged by Andrew Eggert and musically coordinated by conductor Nicole Paiement, with choreography by Karole Armitage. Both seen and video-processed, Robert Orth is a tour de force as Simon, his sinewy baritone faltering only in some low-ranging patches. Joélle Harvey and Patricia Risley sing radiantly as, respectively, Miranda and Evvy.”

Here’s a glowing accolade from Opera Pulse: “From a musical perspective, Death and the Powers is fantastic. Machover explores many different sounds throughout the work, from the avant-garde, electronic music in the Prologue and Epilogue to beautiful, soaring arias and duets during the “human” portion of the work. For those uneasy about modern music, have no fear, Machover’s music is highly operatic and an absolute joy to experience.”

From NewMusicBox: “In a production with so many strong singers and performances, it was in the final scene where Harvey’s Miranda stole the show. Unable to follow Evvy into the world of The System, she is torn between her love for her father and her love of conventional human life. The 99 percent arrive as The Miseries, all of humanity living in a world turned upside down by the turmoil that occurred in the wake of Powers’s retreat from the world. Having escaped their grip, Miranda confronts Powers who continues to try to convince her that entering The System is the only option for the future of humanity. Miranda rejects this notion, repeating the word “Live, live, live!” as the orchestra ascends to a final climax.”

The Theater Jones writes: “If it is a critic’s job to recommend, then consider this a wholehearted recommendation to see Death and the Powers. It is something completely original, perhaps not in film (a number of humans-in-cyberspace movies jump to mind), but surely in opera. The running time of 90 minutes, without an intermission, is designed to clock in at about the length of a movie.  However, it seems to pass quickly because of admiration for the singers, fascination with the techno-wizardry, involvement in the story and appreciation with the overall execution.”


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