Death and the Powers is here

The innovative new opera by Tod Machover, Death and the Powers, opens this Friday for its world premiere in Monte Carlo at Opéra Garnier de Monte-Carlo. Machover gave Festival-goers a sneak peak of this hugely ambitious work earlier this summer at the 2010 World Science Festival, which included a thought-provoking conversation with AI legend Marvin Minsky.

The opera—a brainchild of Machover's Opera of the Future Group at the MIT Media Lab in co-production with American Repertory Theatre—explores transhumanist and existential territory, such as mortality and theory of mind, as well as confronting the most fundamental question of legacy: what of ourselves do we leave behind when we die?

Plus, it's going to be really, really cool. The opera incorporates a new technology developed by MIT called "disembodied performance": an elaborate system of multidimensional sensors that allows the actors to give life-like, rich performances via inanimate components from off-stage (hello, Avatar LIVE!). Oh, and did I mention that it involves a massive animatronic chandelier and a chorus of robots?

Death and the Powers comes to the US in March. More information and tickets here.

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