9 May 2017

Seattle Opera and San Francisco Opera Sign on as Co-Commissioners of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs 

SAN FRANCISCO OPERA AND SEATTLE OPERA announced today that both companies have signed on as co-commissioners of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs and will present the opera as part of their respective future seasons. The opera, by composer Mason Bates and featuring a libretto by Mark Campbell, will have its world premiere at Santa Fe Opera on July 22. The work will receive its West Coast premiere during Seattle Opera's 2018-19 season, and will arrive at San Francisco Opera during that company's 2019-20 season. 

Comprised of a prologue and nineteen scenes, the opera is inspired by the life of visionary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, with the piece tracing the Apple CEO's spiritual development through his relationships with five figures: his wife Laurene, his confidant and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, his girlfriend Chrisann, his spiritual advisor Kobun and his father Paul. The opera opens at a critical moment in Jobs' life before dramatizing seminal experiences from his past, including his father's mentorship, his discovery of Buddhism, his struggles as an entrepreneur and his marriage to Laurene. 

“Jobs’ search for inner peace is the story of the opera, which is about a man who learns to be human again," said Bates. 
The announcement of two major American opera companies joining the commissioning group behind a mainstage work that has yet to receive its world premiere is notable for both its inherent risk and its exceeding rarity in the opera world, and signals the belief that the opera's story and its electronic-tinged score will resonate with audiences.
“Mason Bates’ new opera is a deeply layered, moving portrayal of a man grappling with the complex priorities of life, family, and work,” said San Francisco Opera general director Matthew Shilvock in a statement issued today. “Like all great operas, I have been so impressed by how it speaks to the universality of the human condition. This is not just an opera about one man. It is an opera about all of us.”

The opera's creative team includes director Kevin Newbury, scenic artist Vita Tzykun, costumer Paul Carey and lighting designer Japhy Weideman; projection designs are by the London-based 59 Productions and choreography is by Chloe Treat. 

In addition to Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera and San Francisco Opera, Cal Performances will also offer commissioning support. Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music will also be a co-producer of the work. 

San Francisco Opera and Seattle Opera intend to announce casting for their performances at a later date. 

Initial funding for The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs was provided by the National Endowment for the Artsspacer 

More information can be found at Seattle Opera and San Francisco Opera

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