With music by Mason Bates, former Mead composer-in-residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs had its world premiere July 22 at the Santa Fe Opera. In what he has described as Jobs’ “complicated and messy” life, Bates was certain that he had found the right subject for his first opera.
“In fact, Jobs’ search for inner peace is the story of the opera — which, in a sentence, is about a man who learns to be human again,” said Bates of his subject, the visionary leader and co-founder of Apple, Inc., who died of pancreatic cancer in 2011. Shifting in time over 18 scenes, the opera has a fragmented, non-linear narrative that reflects Jobs’ personality and psyche. Mark Campbell wrote the libretto, with Kevin Newbury serving as the director. “Steve Jobs did have a mind that just jumped from idea to idea to idea — it was very quick,” Campbell said in an interview with NPR.
The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs continues through Aug. 22 at Santa Fe Opera. It will be performed this fall at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and in subsequent seasons at San Francisco Opera. For more information about the work, including background articles and videos, click here.