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The Future of Opera

by Stephen Becker 8 Oct 2012 10:51 AM

The next “Conversations with Keith” opera event is slated for Tuesday. If you’re interested in modern opera, pull up a chair and join the discussion.


How does one become a musical innovator? The truth is, it helps to have good genes.

That certainly helped Tod Machover. Each project the MIT professor takes on seems to be at least partially aimed at revolutionizing the ways we learn, perform and appreciate music. He’s been at the forefront of hyperinstruments, written an opera featuring robots and he’s hard at work on a symphony involving everyone in Toronto.

But you don’t just begin at the bleeding edge. You’ve got to work your way out to the forefront of creativity. And that’s where those genes (and the parents who provided them) help.

“I grew up thinking that making up your own music was the most natural thing,” Machover said last month during his “Conversations with Keith” event, sponsored by the Dallas Opera. Machover’s mother was a Julliard trained pianist and his dad was a computer teacher. If anyone is the sum total of his parents, its Machover.

He talked about his upbringing and detailed many of his fascinating projects, past and present, during the discussion, which Jerome moderated. Part 1 is above, and the rest of the talk is on Art&Seek’s YouTube page.

Jerome will again serve as moderator for this month’s “Conversations with Keith,” which features Fort Worth Opera’s Darren Woods and the series’ namesake, Dallas Opera CEO Keith Cerny. They’ll talk about the current state of discovering and commissioning new works – a topic each of these guys knows plenty about.

The discussion is slated for Tuesday at 6:30 in the Winspear Opera House’s Hamon Hall. If you’re an opera fan curious about what’s next, the evening promises plenty of answers.