​Steve Jobs electro-acoustic opera coming to IU


The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs "features a stage where film projections can move with the scenery." (Photo courtesy of IU Newsroom).

The legacy that started in a garage is now coming to the stage.

“The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs,” an electro-acoustic opera co-produced by the Jacobs School of Music and the Santa Fe Opera, is set to makes its IU debut in September 2018.

Written by composer Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell, the opera follows the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs from his time as a counterculture hippie to technology mogul.

“Jobs’ search for inner peace is the story of the opera, which, in a sentence, is about a man who learns to be human again,” Bates said on his blog.

Bates took a poetic, energetic and nonlinear approach to creating the opera so as to reflect Jobs’s personality and psyche, Bates said in an interview with NPR.

The work is anchored with musical numbers and a single question, “How can you simplify human communication when people are so messy?” Bates said on his blog.

Personal relationships and technological revolution are also explored in the opera. Each character’s personality is represented by a diverse musical style — Jobs’s is buzzing and energetic, while his wife Laurene’s is pensive.

Even set design is representative of Jobs’s work with Apple. Projection mapping, which uses sensors attached to stage units to allow projected video to move with a dynamic set, is used in the opera.

“We wanted to integrate it seamlessly into the design because that’s what Steve Jobs and Apple did with the products themselves,” Opera Director Kevin Newbury said in an interview with NPR.

The work debuted at the Santa Fe Opera on July 22, and will be performed there throughout August.

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