Friday 25 August 2023

New AI-enhanced performance technologies created at MIT for new production of Tod Machover's first opera VALIS

Hot-foot from his ground-breaking new production of Wagner's Parsifal at this year's Bayreuth Festival using Augmented Reality [see Tony's review], director Jay Scheib is returning to the theatre to direct the first new production almost 30 years of Tod Machover's first opera VALIS. 

Based on a story by Science Fiction author Philip K. Dick, VALIS was written by Tod Machover in 1987, utilising Giuseppe di Giugno's digital synthesizer 4X system to process voices. After studying with Elliott Carter and Roger Sessions in New York, Machover arrived in at IRCAM in Paris in 1978 and was introduced to Giuseppe di Giugno's digital synthesizers, based on the concept that "synthesizers should be made for musicians, not for the people that make them." 

The new production of VALIS takes place at the MIT Theater Arts Performance Space, 345 Vassar Street, Cambridge MA, USA 8-10 September 2023. For this production, Jay Scheib (who is a colleague of Tod Machover's at MIT) will be using new AI-enhanced performance technologies created especially for this production at the MIT Media Lab. 

The production features bass-baritone Davone Tines and mezzo-soprano Anais Reno, with an ensemble of young performers, Tod Machover conducts. The production is co-presented by MIT Media Lab / MIT Theater Arts / Opera Of The Future.

Further information from the MIT website, and there is a striking video trailer.

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