Science + Theater = Sanity and/or Electrocution

The voice of Suzanne Calvin is a richly upholstered armchair surrounded by dust motes in a Victorian study. Suzanne is the voice of the Dallas Opera, telling us it's time to turn off our cellphones. Today Suzanne also explained fire safety evacuation from the theater. The opera would include strobe lights, robots, and a whole tangle of electrical wires.

"Death and the Powers" is a sci-fi opera about a gazillionaire who wants to live forever without the nuisance of matter and body. The choreographed robots would steal the show if the singers weren't so terrific. Poet Robert Pinsky wrote the libretto, and M.I.T. Media Lab professor Tod Machover composed the score. There are questions of life, death, immortality, suffering, energy, matter, money, responsibility, meat, and poetry, all packed into ninety minutes of stunning techno stagecraft. The gazillionaire's adopted bionic son got some great choreography, and we did not have to evacuate. No one was electrocuted, on stage or off. Today's performance was simulcast at ten locations around the world.

When the going gets rough, the stressed devour mysteries. Chee and Leaphorn got me through my divorce. Kinsey Milhone helped with single parenting. Now Flavia de Luce is getting me through home downsizing and job hunting. That's a lot for an eleven year old to shoulder, but Flavia is up to it! She just solved a case involving a metal bicycle trouser clip and a puppet theater.


© 2014 Nancy L. Ruder

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