Widely recognized for designing new technologies for performance and creation, musical visionary Tod Machover directs the MIT Media Lab’s Opera of the Future group and is the Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media.
In Schoenberg in Hollywood, commissioned by Boston Lyric Opera, he turned to the past—and a fellow composer—for inspiration. The titular figure fled Hitler’s Europe for Hollywood, where he sought to reconcile art with entertainment, and spiritual identity with political action. Though focused on musical history, the technically complex production and boundary-breaking sounds reveal Machover, as ever, pushing his field forward.
Composed by Machover with a libretto by Simon Robson, Schoenberg in Hollywood received its world premiere at Boston Lyric Opera in November 2018. The production showcased the artistry of MIT alumni, as well—featuring sound design by Ben Bloomberg ’11, SM ’14 and video projections by Peter Torpey SM ’09, PhD ’13. An exhibit about the production is on display through April 30, 2019, in the lobby of MIT Building E14.