Opera of the Future

Professor Tod Machover, Director

The Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab explores concepts and techniques to help advance the future of musical composition, performance, learning, and expression. Through the design of new interfaces for both professional virtuosi and amateur music-lovers; the development of new techniques for interpreting and mapping expressive gesture; and the application of these technologies to innovative compositions and experiences; we seek to enhance music as a performance art, and to develop its transformative power as a counterpoint to our everyday lives. The scope of our research includes musical instrument design, concepts for new performance spaces, interactive touring and permanent installations, and “music toys”, and ranges from an extension of traditional forms, to radical departures, such as the Brain Opera, Toy Symphony, and Death and the Powers.

Sleep No More

We are collaborating with the theater group Punchdrunk to create an online platform for remote theatrical immersion that connects to their hit NYC show, Sleep No More.

Death and the Powers

Death and the Powers is a groundbreaking robotic opera that brings a variety of technological, conceptual, and aesthetic innovations to the theatrical world.

City Symphonies

We have created a new works for symphony orchestras in collaboration with entire cities, including Toronto, Edinburgh, and Perth.

Powers Live

The Dallas run of Death and the Powers featured a global interactive simulcast of the opera to nine cities worldwide, inviting remote audiences to engage with an unique second-screen experience.

...but not simpler...

This collection of Tod Machover’s music focuses on chamber and orchestral music composed during the last decade, both with and without electronic enhancement.

Vocal Vibrations

We are creating the next generation of tools for enhancing expressive vocal and physical performance in ways that promote physical and emotional health.

Media Scores

Media Scores provide a means to orchestrate multiple modalities in the creation of expressive works of art and performance.

Disembodied Performance

In the opera Death and the Powers, the main character’s expressive live performance is measured and transformed into robotic, visual, and sonic elements of the theatrical design.