Mason Bates’s first opera, about Steve Jobs, in Santa Fe

Posted on: July 25, 2017

“Steve Jobs has been the subject of movies and books, and now the Apple co-founder’s life has also become the stuff of opera,” reports Naomi Lewin on Saturday (7/22) at National Public Radio. Composer Mason Bates’s first opera, The (R)evolution Of Steve Jobs, which premiered Saturday at Santa Fe Opera, “shifts back and forth in time…. ‘Steve Jobs did have a mind that just jumped from idea to idea to idea—it was very quick,’ [librettist Mark] Campbell says…. Bates also created a different ‘sound world’ to match each character. Jobs, for instance, played guitar and spent much of his life dealing with electronics, and so he ‘has this kind of busy, frenetic, quicksilver world of acoustic guitar and electronica,’ Bates explains…. Other characters include Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ business partner, and the Japanese-born Zen priest Kobun Chino Otogawa [whose] ‘almost purely electronic’ sound world makes use of prayer bowls and processed Thai gongs…. Bates [was] seated among the orchestra musicians, triggering sounds and playing rhythms from two laptops.… After a prologue in the iconic garage where Jobs’ ideas first took shape, the garage walls explode into six moving cubes with screens that look a lot like iPhones.”

Posted July 25, 2017