Death and the Powers

Motorized LED walls set the stage for a futuristic robot opera.

Death and the Powers is a high-tech opera created by the MIT Media Lab and the American Repertory Theatre. Composed by Tod Machover and directed by Diane Paulus, the show uses a rich array of new custom technologies and display elements to tell the story of an ailing trillionaire who uploads his consciousness into 'the cloud'. Oh yeah, and there are robots. 

Sosolimited designed four large LED display walls used to embody the digitized spirit of Simon Powers. Simon's movement and breathing, monitored by sensors throughout the performance, altered the lighting and graphics. The Department of the Fourth Dimension designed the media content displayed on the screens. The robotic walls moved throughout during the performance, conjuring images of bookshelves and super computers.

The opera debuted at the Opéra Monte-Carlo in 2010, and has travelled internationally in the years since. Pictures are courtesy of Jonathan Williams, Jess Kim, and Matt Checkowski.


American Repertory Theater


MIT Media Lab

Department of the 4th Dimension

Even an intervention from the UN cannot stop Simon Powers.
The moving set pieces become performers in their own right.
The robots in the wings.

The opera debuted at the Opéra Monte-Carlo in 2010, and has traveled internationally in the years since.

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