Death and the Powers program: Program Notes: Director Note

A note from Death and the Powers director and A.R.T. Artistic Director Diane Paulus.

Welcome to Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera!

Creating a new opera for audiences in the 21st century takes a small village of collaborators. The work of music theater you are about to witness is the result of almost a decade of development. It has brought together artists from the widest range of disciplines—from theater and film to modern dance and the cutting-edge technology of the MIT Media Lab. All of us have come together around a common goal: to create a total experience for today’s audiences that will be relevant, moving and thought-provoking.

By striving to expand the boundaries of opera and to experiment with new stage technologies, we are following in the footsteps of generations of theater creators who have come before us. Every era has sought to put the latest and greatest onto the opera stage—from the most spectacular stage machinery to the interactive multimedia of today. These new technologies expand the ways we can see and hear opera, and they challenge us to re-imagine the genre for our own times.

The story of Simon Powers and his quest to grapple with his legacy is one that will resonate for all of us living in today’s technology-saturated world of instant communication and virtual reality. In this opera, the artistic and scientific impulses are united in their search for the unknown. We hope the experience of the performance will invite you to reflect on who we are today, who we may become, and what the future of opera may hold.

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