Secrets Found Online, Shared Softly: David Lang’s ‘whisper opera’ Mines Truths From the Web

New York Times
By WILLIAM ROBIN

Opera and technology have long had an uneasy relationship. The one has always required the other — from the Baroque spectacle of 17th-century operas, with their deus-ex-machina gimmickry, to the stagecraft required to mount any contemporary production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle.

Historically, though, opera tended to avoid confronting the technological head-on. Composers stuck to timeworn subjects from literature, myth or history. Machines controlled the staging; they didn’t usually appear onstage.

But we live with a different set of myths today, and contemporary opera has begun to reflect the age of Mark Zuckerberg and Edward Snowden. Thus, Nico Muhly’s “Two Boys,” a story of intrigue and murder in online chat rooms, which will arrive at the Metropolitan Opera in October; and Tod Machover’s 2010 “Death and the Powers,” a “robot pageant” featuring animatronic sets and a wealthy industrialist who downloads his own consciousness. And in David Lang’s “whisper opera” — which will have its New York premiere on Saturday at the Clark Studio Theater at Lincoln Center — the Internet takes center stage. MORE

Published August 2, 2013
Source Share This Comments

[ alumni ]

Wai Lau ’12AD wins position with Hong Kong Philharmonic

Clarinetist Wai Lau ’12AD was recently appointed to a position with the Hong Kong Philharmonic. She will play bass clarinet with the orchestra.lau_wai

Wai Lau, clarinet (Beijing, China), has appeared in concerts at the Bari International Music Festival, Festival of the Sound, Banff Centre, Norfolk Music Festival, and Lachine Music Festival, collaborating with Russell Braun, James Campbell, Ettore Causa, Mark Fewer, Marc Johnson, Joel Quarrington, David Shifrin, James Sommerville, and Stephen Taylor, among others. She has performed throughout the United States, Canada, China, Germany, Italy, Poland, and South Africa. MORE

Published August 2, 2013
Share This Comments