|Edward Parks | Photo credit: Ken Howard|
With a libretto written by Pulitzer-prize-winner Mark Campbell, “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” effectively used a series of scenes to jump forwards and backwards in time to relate the life of the brilliant and complex man. The first vignette took channeled back to Jobs’s childhood when his father gave him a tool box to make things. The next scene travelled to the 2007 product launch of the iPhone (called “one device” in the opera in order to avoid trademark litigation) and later scenes took place at Reed College, an apple orchard, the Los Altos Zen Center, Apple offices in Cupertino, Yosemite National Park, and the Stanford University Chapel. Along the way, we learned how Jobs drove himself and others ruthlessly, got married, became ill with cancer, and accepted his mortality, reconciling it all with his Buddhist faith.
|Garrett Sorenson and Edward Parks | Photo credit: Ken Howard|
Bates took full advantage with this opera to demonstrate his prowess in merging electronic and acoustic sounds. That meant, of course, that the voices would be amplified in order to be heard over the loudest sections. I am not a fan of voices that have been boosted artificially, but I have to admit that Santa Fe Opera did an outstanding job with the mics. Bates, himself, took a position in the orchestra, as master-on-the-fly mixer of the electronica. Michael Christie managed to conduct the musical enterprise outstandingly. The music was tinged with minimalism, especially whenever technology was described, but whenever the story tackled human relationships, Bates found his lyric side, which was refreshing.
|Edward Parks and Jessica Jones | Photo credit: Ken Howard|
|Wei Wu and Edward Parks | Photo credit Ken Howard|
|Edward Parks and Sasha Cooke | Photo credit: Ken Howard|