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Robot Opera Is Less Madame Butterfly, More "Oops I Dropped a Butterfly Screw"

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Don't be alarmed by the fact we're writing about opera on Gizmodo. We're not secretly donning velvet smoking jackets and pearls (except for Kyle). Death and the Powers features nine life-sized robots—or, "OperaBots," the odd human.

It's been 10 years in the making, but from this September in Monaco, MIT's Media Lab Professor Tod Machover and 60 of his students/volunteers will be working on the show, with Prince Albert II being an honorary patron and supporter of the opera. Nothing like the royal seal on a piece of avant-garde entertainment to get the blood rushing to the head, eh?

While it's mostly the nine robots in the chorus which will bring the punters through the doors, the animated set (including, ahem, a musical chandelier) and even a few human singers chucked in for good measure, all come together to tell the tale of Simon Powers, a wealthy businessman who wants to leave a strong legacy behind, turning himself from a human into a "System."


There's real talent working behind the scenes here, not least in the form of production designer Alex McDowell, who also worked on Minority Report, Watchmen and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Check out the trailer below for the opera, which will be debuting on the 24th of September. [Death and the Powers via Laboratory Equipment via Botropolis]