Opera is an acquired taste, and new operas -- those written in the past fifty years or so -- are sometimes hard to swallow. But if music samples from next year's premiere production of the Santa Fe (NM) Opera's The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs are any indication, this new opera about the late Apple founder and CEO's personal journey to spiritual enlightenment might become a standard for opera companies around the world.
Written by composer Mason Bates with a libretto by Mark Campbell, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs takes a totally different look at the iconic figure. Singing the part of Steve Jobs will be baritone Edward Parks, Laurene Powell-Jobs is sung by mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, and bass Wei Wu plays the part of Zen priest and Jobs mentor Kobun Chino Otogawa.
The Santa Fe Opera website describes the idea behind the opera well:
Brilliant yet unknowable, Steve Jobs possessed a vision that seemed limitless. But only as his own life was ending did he find the means to look within himself. “In fact, Jobs’ search for inner peace is the story of the opera – which, in a sentence, is about a man who learns to be human again,” says composer Mason Bates.
4 tracks from the Mason Bates orchestration can be found on the web page for the opera, and they fit the story of Steve Jobs well. Electronics and guitar are found right alongside traditional orchestra instruments, and they fit well.
Opening night for The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs is July 22, with additional productions on July 26, August 4, August 10, August 15, and August 25. Tickets begin at $40 and rise to $195 depending on the seating area chosen in the Santa Fe Opera's beautiful venue.