VALIS: 2023 Production


Maria Baranova

Maria Baranova

Tod Machover’s first opera (he has now composed many more groundbreaking ones) was VALIS, and it made history when it premiered for the 10th Anniversary of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in December 1987. Called “the first opera of the 21st century” (The Boston Globe) and “the most intelligent of new American operas” (The New Yorker), it was the first major international art project after the founding of the Media Lab and launched a new era of computer-interactive performance through the invention of Hyperinstruments. In addition, it told a bold Philip K. Dick story about the potential and dangers of AI that was powerfully prescient in 1987, and even more urgent and relevant now. VALIS toured the U.S., Europe and Asia and has been recorded on a still-best-selling CD, but it has not received a new live production for over 20 years.

That changes in September 2023! Machover is working with Jay Scheib (head of MIT’s Theater Department and currently directing the new production of Wagner’s Parsifal at the prestigious Bayreuth Festival) to create a bold new production of VALIS that will update/upgrade the interactive Hyperinstruments, add new layers of sonic richness to the musical score, and reintroduce this vital work to a new generation. The stellar cast is headlined by Davóne Tines, one of the world’s most important young singer/actors.

International producers and impresarios interested in touring VALIS worldwide and the MIT community and the general public will attend performances in MIT's new theater building.

Learn more at Arts at MIT, MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology.