“A big work with big ideas” – Opera News review

Risley, Orth and Harvey in Death and the Powers in Dallas

Risley, Orth and Harvey in Death and the Powers in Dallas

A pleasant surprise arrived in the mail this week: Opera News in its May 2014 issue gives the Dallas Opera’s production of Tod Machover’s “Death and the Powers” a glowing review. Writer Andrew Sigler praises the opera as “a big work with big ideas,” and notes that “Machover brings to bear his considerable technical prowess in the world of technology, as well as his deep sense of musical history,” to explore the premise of human consciousness merging with computer hardware.

Sigler writes that Robert Orth, in the role of Simon Powers, “embodied the character perfectly,” and praises Patricia Risley’s for giving a “smoky and sensual” performance and “real depth” to Evvy, Simon’s third and favorite wife. In the thrilling final scene, “Machover shows his operatic chops and Joélle Harvey’s Miranda all but steals the show.”

Read the full review here.


Death and the Powers recording session

This just in from Tod Machover’s Facebook:

“Finished the DEATH AND THE POWERS recording today with two fabulous sessions. All the singers, the BMOP players, conductor Gil Rose, and the whole recording and tech team did an amazing job. I am SO happy that the music is in the can; now we enter the editing and post-production phase which will take a while but will be a total pleasure. Look for the release this spring!!”

Photos by Tod Machover

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“Touch Me” Aria

Here’s a breathtaking video of Evvy’s “Touch Me” aria from Scene 4 of Death and the Powers. Mezzo soprano Patricia Risley sings the role here during rehearsal at the Cutler Majestic Theater in Boston, MA, August 2010. She will perform the role of Evvy in the world premiere of Death and the Powers on September 24, 2010, in Monte Carlo.

Meet the Artists – Patricia Risley (Evvy)

Patricia Risley, mezzo soprano

Opera News hails Patricia Risley for “her voice…luscious and agile, her characterization both boisterous and tender” as well as her beautiful “singing with ease and certainty.” Frequently sought after on national and international stages, Patricia Risley’s 2010-11 season includes her debut with New York City Opera as Dinah in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place. She also creates the role of Evvy Powers in Machover’s Death and the Powers at Opera de Monte Carlo and returns to Florentine Opera for Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Santa Fe Opera for Margret in Wozzeck, and Palm Beach Opera for Dorabella in Così fan tutte. She also sings the Stewardess in Dove’s Flight with Austin Lyric Opera and returns to the Metropolitan Opera roster for La traviata. Last season, she returned to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and for its production of Il barbiere di Siviglia, sang her first performances of Sharon Falconer in Aldrige’s Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera (to be released on the Naxos label), and returned to Arizona Opera for Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia. (Read more at Patricia Risley’s Web page)

Here is Patricia in Scene 4 of Death and the Powers. Video from rehearsal at the Cutler Majestic Theater, Boston, August 2010.

And the other.
Yes, yes that and
The other
And this and that and more and all
And the other and O yes
All yes all yes, all yes.

Patricia talks about her role as Evvy

Patricia in the role of Cherubino


(credit: Jill Steinberg)

We’ve got a lot of great new interviews coming up in the next few weeks, but for now this’ll have to do – this fantastic image depicts Patricia Risley as Evvy, dramatically lit in her famous chandelier scene. You can hear her talk more about what it’s like to perform this scene during her interview.

And to get you even more excited about the premiere of Death and the Powers, here’s a brief 1-minute clip of the sounds of the opera:

Get ready!