The inaugural Synchromy Opera Festival delivers an inglorious, dynamic take on this digital life. In Vera Ivanova’s comic opera, The Double, the troubled hero believes that he has a double who is acting independently in an attempt to take over his life. For librettist Sarah LaBrie, this operatic re-imagining of Dostoevsky’s classic novel is newly relevant, as “many of us are coming to terms with what it means to be a citizen of a country founded on a dream that clashes glaringly with the reality many of us confront.” Directed by Alexander Gedeon, The Double features Brightwork Ensemble conducted by Marc Lowenstein.
Roman, Ian Dicke’s multimedia opera in two acts, questions the morality of designing intelligent machines to exhibit human behaviors. The central character, an AI assistant, is performed by a sung robotic voice and appears as a projection. Director June Carryl says, “In Roman, what’s toxic is giving ourselves wholesale to tech without boundaries, without a sense of right and wrong, only logical conclusions.” Conductor Thomas Buckley and the Koan Quartet accompany the human and virtual performers.