Composer: Gordon Michael
Librettist: Maguire Matthew
Premiere Date: October 08, 1998
Producing Company: National Endowment for the Arts
Description: Dr. Anna Fitzroy is a rogue physicist driven to research chaos. Dr. Lorenz Boleslaw is her partner whose own obsession with their experiment is nearly as great as their love for one another. Years of heartbreaking labor finally pay off when they penetrate to the heart of the Chaos Zone, where Marie and Pierre Curie appear as their navigators and reveal to them the secrets of chaos. Fitzroy and Boleslaw proudly report their results to their mentor, Dr. Aguabone, the head of the Institute of Science, a giant of Los Alamos, and a Nobel laureate in quantum physics.

Within the scientific world there has always been a battle between two forces: those fighting for and those against the evolution of science. Deeply threatened by chaos, Dr. Aguabone, while pretending to defend Fitzroy and Boleslaw, secretly arranges their arrest. They are promised ''freedom'' to work if they recant. Realizing Aguabone’s true nature, the scientists struggle with a moral dilemma that threatens to divide them. They escape from jail and, with Marie and Pierre's help, fight insanity, open a passage to the Chaos Zone, trap Aguabone, and broadcast his meltdown in Chaos on TV. All rejoice.
Character List (Major): Dr. Anna Lenehan, a rogue physicist driven to research Chaos.

Dr. Lorenz Boleslaw, her partner, whose own obsession with their experiment is nearly as great as their love for one another.

Dr. Marie Curie, who discovered radium with Pierre Curie. Brilliant and humble, she avoids personal gain. In the Poland of her youth she worked underground against the Czar and has remained intensely political. Still deeply in love with Pierre, she's now an inhabitant of the Zone of Chaos. Dressed in an old, acid-stained lab coat, she emanates a blue radioactive glow. In Chaos, she is thirty-six, the age at which she was awarded her first Nobel Prize.

Dr. Pierre Curie, the co-discoverer of radium. A brilliant but awkward man who lives in bliss with Marie in Chaos where he is eternally forty-four years old. Though less political than Marie, he was a Dreyfus supporter. Pierre feels that Marie is a superhuman being who has escaped human laws.

Dr. R. George Aguabone, Director of the National Institute of Science, one of the leading scientists to emerge from Los Alamos, a Nobel Laureate in quantum physics.
Reviews: Michael Gordon's score nods to the wheels-within-wheels Minimalism of Philip Glass's EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH, than moves into electronica's new sonic realms. True to pronouncements from the libretto like 'patterns always the same, but never the same,' the music is full of irregular but propulsive motifs. The singers have concise phrases, harmonized or dissonant or overlapping, [with an] intelligible libretto; they allude to the chromaticism of 12-tone music and to the non-Western modes of gamelan music and ragas. Around the vocals are the ricocheting polyrhythms of computerized music, in clear plinks and blips or in tones on the verge of dissolving into buzzes and whooshes. Although some stretches seem almost danceable, Mr. Gordon's patterns never settle into repetition; he's dispensing higher mathematics.

Avant-garde opera has struggled to find scenarios that make sense in the context of what current musicians and designers envision. CHAOS finds that connection ...its patterns add up brilliantly.

—Jon Pareles, New York Times
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: Not Available
Orchestration: electronic tape, amp
Contact: Mike McCurdy
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