Death and the Powers: A Robot Pageant

Finalist, 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music

Death and the Powers: A Robot Pageant is a new opera by composer Tod Machover and developed at the MIT Media Lab. It is a one-act, full-evening work that tells the story of Simon Powers, a successful and powerful businessman and inventor, reaching the end of his life and facing the question of his legacy. He is now conducting his final experiment, passing from one form of existence to another in an effort to project himself into the future. Simon Powers is himself now a System. His family, friends, and associates must decide what this means, whether or not he is actually alive, how it affects them, and whether to follow.

  • Death and the Powers doesn’t point the way to a new era of opera. It’s there. Now.

    David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • A grand, rich, deeply serious new opera.

    Andrew Porter, Opera
  • A must-see for anybody who cares about the exciting new techno-driven directions music theater is taking in the early 21st century.

    John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
  • Passionate intensity. Full-bodied arias in a post-organic world.

    Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal
  • Highly imaginative and quite compelling.

    Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe
  • Envelope-pushing, thought-provoking and brilliantly executed opera

    Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
  • The production and performance are sheer genius and technical wizardry.

    Keith Powers, Boston Herald
  • The merging of man and machine gets a spectacular morphing in the always-fascinating and often-moving Death and the Powers.

    Frank Rizzo, Variety

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