Many of us want to change the world. Steve Jobs did. Opening on Saturday, July 22, 2017, this summer's world premiere is centered on this enigmatic public figure, who could be magnetic yet unapproachable, empathetic yet cruel, meditative yet restless. He helped connect us all while building a firewall around his own emotions. At the heart of this world premiere is the story of a man who circles back to the formative events in his life while learning to acknowledge his own mortality.
The moving and witty libretto by Mark Campbell leaps around in time to capture the spirit of its subject. Composer Mason Bates’ music blends expressive electronics, including guitar, with rich opera orchestration.
The stellar cast for this world premiere includes baritone Edward Parks as Steve Jobs; mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke as Laurene Powell Jobs; tenor Garrett Sorenson as Steve «Woz» Wozniak; bass Wei Wu as Kōbun Chino Otogawa; soprano Jessica Jones as Chrisann Brennan; mezzo-soprano Mariya Kaganskaya as Teacher; and baritone Kelly Markgraf as Paul Jobs.
Directed by Kevin Newbury, the production is conducted by Michael Christie, with Santa Fe Opera Head of Music Staff Robert Tweten taking the podium for the August 25th performance. The production includes scenic design by Victoria «Vita» Tzykun, costume design by Paul Carey, video design by 59 Productions, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, and choreography by Chloe Treat.
Director Newbury notes that «Our brains are now so fully in tune with our technology that it's hard to separate ourselves, physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Our main goal is to animate the sense of magic and wonder we feel when we look into the „black mirror“ of our devices.»
Sung in English with opera titles in English and Spanish, the production runs 90 minutes with no intermission.
Commissioned by The Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and San Francisco Opera, with support from Cal Performances, The ®evolution of Steve Jobs is a co-production with Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, and The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Special thanks go to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
This production is underwritten by a deeply appreciated gift from David Henry Jacobs. Additional artistic costs are underwritten by The Carl and Marilynn Thoma Foundation and The General Director's Premiere Fund in honor of Richard Gaddes. Additional support has been provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts.