The Opera Is About to Begin. Please Turn On Your Cellphone.
Opera isn’t generally associated with cutting-edge technology. But how about this: an opera with a sci-fi plot, performed partly by actual robots and simulcast in cities around the world. Oh, and you’ll need to download a special app to get the full experience.
Death and the Powers was devised by composer and music-tech innovator Tod Machover, part of the MIT Media Lab and perhaps best known as the creator of technology that helped lead to Guitar Hero.
One of the performers in “Death and the Powers,” a sci-fi opera that incorporates robots and a smartphone app. (PBS NewsHour)
The opera, about a man who tries to achieve immortality by uploading his mind to a computer, was first performed in 2010 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2012. But the Dallas Opera’s live production this Sunday adds new interactive element elements, most notably through an app that lets viewers in 10 cities choose multiple views of the opera as it unfolds — including an “operabot”-eye-view of the action.
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