Death and the Powers, Tod Machover's acclaimed, large-scale "robotic" opera set to a libretto by U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, was released by BMOP/sound on September 14 as an SACD, with audio mixed by Tod and recent alum Ben Bloomberg. The disc includes both a stereo and a 5.1 surround side, with access to a download of a fully immersive Dolby Atmos version, marking the first time this music can be fully appreciated free of the constraints of a technologically complex live stage performance. Led by conductor Gil Rose, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) performs the opera with electronics from the MIT Media Lab and some of today’s top vocalists, including renowned baritone James Maddalena (Met Opera, Houston Opera, San Francisco Opera).
This CD provides an ideal opportunity to savor the richness, subtlety, variety and originality of Machover’s music for Death and the Powers, called—among many descriptions—“passionate” (Wall Street Journal), “compelling” (Boston Globe), “deeply serious” (Opera), “tremendous emotional impact” (Opera News), and “sheer genius” (Boston Herald). And as David Patrick Stearns wrote in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Death and the Powers doesn’t point the way to a new era of opera. It’s there. Now.”