Death and the Powers
Composer: Tod Machover
Librettist: Robert Pinsky
Other Artistic Personnel: Diane Paulus (Director)
Alex McDowell (Production Designer)
Karole Armitage (Choreographer)
Gil Rose (Conductor)
Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP)

New Performance Technologies by MIT Media Lab
Original Cast: James Maddalena (Simon Powers)
Patricia Risley (Evvy)
Joélle Harvey (Miranda)
Hal Cazalet (Nicholas)
Frank Kelley (The United Way)
David Kravitz (The United Nations)
Tom McNichols (The Administration)
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: September 24, 2010
Producing Company: Opéra de Monte-Carlo
Description: Death and the Powers tells the story of a great inventor at the end of his life facing the questions of his legacy: "When I die, what remains? What can I control? What can I perpetuate?" His final experiment is one in which he passes from one form of existence into another in an attempt to project himself into the future. Whether or not he is actually alive and how that condition is expressed is the pivotal point of the story.
Character List (Major): Simon Powers (bar)
Evvy, Simon's third Wife (mz)
Miranda, Simon's daughter (s)
Nicholas, Simon's research assistant and adopted son (t) The United Way (countertenor)
The United Nations (bar)
The Administration (b)
Comments: This work was formerly known as The Voice
Video Clip:
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: Not Available
Orchestration: Small ensemble, ca.10 players: 5 strings, 3 winds, 1 percussion, 1 keyboard located in the pit

Additionally, the opera will showcase the first-ever use of sonic animatronics (“sonitronics”), or physical, sculptural elements, such as a robotic “Chandelier” which is both a beautiful, compelling object as well as a subtle, resonant musical instrument. Its string-like surfaces are vibrated via electromagnets by a musician remotely while at the same time being plucked, strummed and damped directly by an onstage performer.
Musical Style: The music of Death and the Powers will represent a bold step forward towards a new kind of opera. Innovative disembodied performance techniques will be designed especially for this work, especially for Simon whose performance will mostly tak
Contact: Tod Machover
E-mail Address:
Composer Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Death and the Powers (Machover)
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - Dallas Opera
Death and the Powers (Machover)
Saturday, April 2, 2011 - Chicago Opera Theater
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