Thu 21 September 2017 // 20:00
An innovative, irreverent and hilarious scramble across Mozart opera, electronic sound and video, Mozart vs Machine is a brand new touring work devised by composer Dominic Robertson (formerly known as Ergo Phizmiz) and Mahogany Opera Group that appears across the UK from September 2017.
Devised by Robertson (who as Ergo Phizmiz conceived similarly askew productions including an adaptation of Flann O' Brien's surrealist classic novel 'The Third Policeman') with Mahogany’s artistic director Frederic Wake-Walker, and featuring a cast including English National Opera’s Rebecca Bottone, Mozart vs Machine brings together a wealth of historical figures including the father of electronic music, Raymond Scott. When a device Scott invents to create random musical patterns accidentally tears a hole in the universe, it begins a fantastical encounter that brings him face to face with classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. “Central to the piece is the question of how vital the march of technology is to the transformation of music: to what extent composition is a product of scientific advances”, explains Robertson. “What happens when Mozart, a composer of imagination, paper, and ink, is placed in a theoretical space with Raymond Scott, an inventor of chance-generated loop machines, and what sense of mutual recognition can these disparate historical figures find?”
What follows is part surreal vaudeville, part philosophical debate, exploring creating music, random chance and the ownership of ideas … all with a little help from film-pioneer Georges Méliès, Lewis Carroll’s logic games, composers John Cage and J S Bach and a local chorus of senior citizen jurors.