Although Steve Jobs died in 2011, his creations have left a massive imprint on the modern world. Both his life and work have been commemorated through many mediums, but one composer has decided to capture Jobs' life through opera.
Mason Bates began his ventures to create an opera about Jobs in 2015. The Bay Area composer told Billboard that the idea came to him when thinking about what an opera based in today’s time would look like. He stated how Jobs’ life would suit the subject well: “The tension between the sleek look of his devices and the messy quality of his life is the stuff of opera.”
Such a declaration refers to both his invention of Apple as well as his struggle to find peace within himself. It is known that Jobs had a passionate personality, but his emotions took to extremes. This was reflected in his ill treatment of employees and family members, including his estranged daughter.
The stark contrasts of Jobs’ business and personal life are also apparent once the opera, “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs ,” begins. The story bounces between the inventor’s past and present, capturing his development through life. At one point the audience will be present to see the inventor gifted a work bench as a child. This will be followed though by an explosion of anger in his adult life.
Accompanying the plot is a fusion of music. Bates utilizes the richness of acoustic melodies as well as the curt pulses of technology.
Mason Bates previous works prove to show that, like Jobs, he is one of the most innovative composers of modern times. Described as a DJ and curator on his website, Bates has become the first composer-in-residence of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
“The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” opened July 22 at the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico. It will continue to run through August 25. Dates are also scheduled for both Seattle and San Francisco as well. The San Francisco Opera will host the Steve Jobs opera during their 2019-2020 season.