The Machine Stops

This year’s UoT Opera student composed opera sets a libretto by Michael Patrick Albano based on a 1909 story by EM Forster.  It’s a dystopian sci-fi story and OK as these things go though one suspects it felt a whole lot more original in 1909.  Basically, humanity is living underground in pods with limited face to face interaction.  Life is mediated by “The Machine” which increasingly has become an object of veneration as well as utility.  The principal characters are Vashti, a believer, and her rebellious son Kuno who is prone to make illegal excursions to the planet surface where, he realises, there are still people living.  It’s a bit like Logan’s Run but not as sexy.  The Relationship between the two breaks down over their belief systems until The Machine goes belly up at which point there is a reconciliation before everyone dies.  Along the way there’s a fair bit of heavy handed philosophising by the narrator and chorus.

machinestops

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