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Opera, as always, embraces technology

April 16, 2011 |  6:30 am

Deus ex machina has been something favored in opera from the start, and as much more than just a cheap plot devise. A god not only came out of the machine to solve a plot conundrum in Baroque opera, god really was in the machine. And especially in France, where spectacle was, along with Louis IV, king. Stage machines were at least as big a draw as Rameau.

In fact, opera was pretty much the first high-tech art form. When Wagner came along in the 19th century, he spoke of gesamtkunstwerke, or the concept of a total art. And opera is no technological slouch even in these days of CGI and video games. 

So it is also no fluke, or joke, that Opera America has asked the head of the MIT Media Lab to address its national meeting in Boston next week. Here is where you can find out more.

-- Mark Swed

Photo: "Death and the Power" staged in Boston. Credit: Jonathan Williams / MIT Media Lab.

Comments () | Archives (1)

Opera evolves, like everything else. The problem is that the LA Opera sunk millions into a badly planned Ring Cycle, led by Herr Freyer which was basically a childish take off on cirque du soleil. Lohengrin was much better. We'll see a separation of US opera companies into those that go for the 3D movies and the gimmicks versus other more conservative companies (maybe San Fran) that don't. Opera always was hysterical multimedia, so we can live with that, but ask for tasteful multimedia. Try to get that message to the Los Angeles Opera.


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