Audience reactions in Chicago

Thanks to the Chicago Opera Theater for putting this together!!


Chicago reviews of Death and the Powers

Miranda (Sarah Heaton) and Nick (Hal Cazalet), Chicago Opera Theater, posted by Brian Dickie

The Chicago Opera Theater production of Death and the Powers opened on Saturday night (April 2, 2011) to a full house and warm applause. The reviews have been largely positive, we’re relieved to say! Do check out COT General Director’s Brian Dickie’s blog for great photos and back-stage stories. There will be three more performances, on April 6 and 8 at 7:30PM, and on April 10 at 3:00PM. Tickets are still available!

Chicago Tribune – COT’s dazzling ‘robot opera’ poses provocative new questions
“”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.”

The Contrapuntist – Review: DEATH AND THE POWERS, THE ROBOTS’ OPERA by Tod Machover at Chicago Opera Theater
“What do you get when you combine incredible singers, dynamic music, and a chorus of robotic Operabots? A jaw-dropping performance of Tod Machover‘s Death and the Powers, The Robots’ Opera at the Chicago Opera Theater (COT)…Scene 8 features the most powerful moment of the opera…Heaton’s emotional performance effectively expresses rage, confusion, and loneliness. The scene culminates as she sings a soaring high note which raised every hair on my body.”

New City Stage – Review: Death and the Powers/Chicago Opera Theater
“…new operas where every possible element pushes the envelope and which nonetheless manage to become much more than the sum of its parts are ultra rare. Tod Machover’s “Death and the Powers,” which is receiving its Midwest premiere by Chicago Opera Theater after premiering in Monaco last September and after having its American premiere last month in Boston, is such a work.”

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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:

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Media coverage of Death and the Powers in Chicago

Harris Theater, photo by Tod Machover

Death and the Powers is gearing up for its run with the Chicago Opera Theater, and creative director and composer Tod Machover is running around town for a non-stop series of interviews. COT has posted press blurbs from the Boston run. We’re doing our best to keep up! We’ll be collecting this week’s media coverage here:

Styleboston (WCVB-TV Boston) will air ‘Plugged In’, DEATH AND THE POWERS: The Robots’ Opera, Sat 4/3 11:35PM & Sun 4/4 at midnight. Watch this teaser.

AARP Magazine – Opera for a New Age: Death and the Powers considers a lonely life in the ether

WTTW TV interview with Tod Machover Scroll down to March 31 programs to watch

Discovery Channel Canada broadcast a feature about Death and the Powers this week. We’ll be posting the video when it become available.

A.V. Club Chicago – Robot opera composer Tod Machover posted this wide-ranging interview with video clips including a YouTube of the Finale from VALIS.

Chicago Tonight (WTTW-TV, Chicago’s PBS station) – We hear that Tod may be interviewed Thursday, March 31,  6:30pm – 7:45pm.

Styleboston (WCVB-TV Boston) will be airing the segment ‘Plugged In’, DEATH AND THE POWERS: The Robots’ Opera, this weekend on Saturday, April 3, 11:35PM and Sunday, April 4 at 12 midnight.

98.7 FM WFMT-Radio Chicago Tuesday April 5 from 2p – 4pm.  The show can be heard on world wide radio-streaming web and on the station’s free iPhone app.

Chicago Tribune – Cue the robots – opera for the digital era arrives at COT

Chicago Classical Review – Machover’s “robot opera” to kick off Chicago Opera Theater’s season

Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal of the Arts offers an informative, elegantly written article about the upcoming Chicago Opera Theater run of Death and the Powers.

“Culture Shock” from Clef Notes Journal

Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal of the Arts offers an informative, elegantly written article about the upcoming Chicago Opera Theater run of Death and the Powers. CNCJA serves as  Chicago’s premier resource for arts and culture coverage with feature stories on music, art, theater and dance. Click on the image below for a larger-sized version.

Copyright Clef Notes Journal

Getting psyched for Chicago!

The Death and the Powers team is excited about bringing the show to Chicago’s beautiful Harris Theater, to kick off the Chicago Opera Theater’s season. The operabots want to visit the top of the Willis Tower – don’t know if they’ll be allowed on the elevators, though. Aww, maybe next time…

The Harris Theater

We’re getting some lovely advance notices in the Chicago press!

Chicago Tribune – Cue the robots – opera for the digital era arrives at COT
“The COT chief [Brian Dickie] caught the work’s premiere in Monte Carlo and later in Boston and found both performances “very thrilling.”…Its main character is Simon Powers, an aging businessman-inventor who decides to dodge his mortality by downloading the essence of his being into a computerized reality called The System. His books, walls and chandelier become a network other characters, including his wife, daughter and assistant, are drawn into. If all this sounds a bit forbidding, Machover’s often lyrical, singable music, flowing in and out of the electronic soundscape, is not.”

Chicago Classical Review – Machover’s “robot opera” to kick off Chicago Opera Theater’s season “The production surrounds the cast of seven singers with screens lit with bright columns of shifting colors and a tensile, web-like musical chandelier that becomes an almost-human figure. There are luminous, triangle-headed robots, 143 speakers scattered about the theater and dozens of computers to control the lavish sound and light show.”

Shows are April 2, 6, 8 and 10. Order tickets here

During the week, Tod Machover will be speaking on a variety of panels, including this one: “Transforming Music: From Guitar Hero to Robotic Opera and Beyond” at 7PM Tuesday March 29 at Northwestern University. Details here.