Music: Artificial intelligence is making its way into the world of opera

When the Semperoper Dresden opens the premieres of the new season on Saturday (September 3rd), one of the main actors is practically not from this world.

Music: Artificial intelligence is making its way into the world of opera

When the Semperoper Dresden opens the premieres of the new season on Saturday (September 3rd), one of the main actors is practically not from this world. Visually, it will shine on stage as an eight-meter-high kinetic light sculpture with LED panels, but artificial intelligence (AI) will be responsible for its actions.

According to the Saxon State Opera, the music theater "Chasing Waterfalls" is the first opera in the world in which an AI creates composition, libretto and interpretation independently and live in phases. In one of seven scenes, the AI ​​alone is in charge, in the others it will interact with real actors as digital twins.

Director and media artist Sven Sören Beyer is fascinated by the interaction between man and machine. "Dancing points of light in the sky, for example, touch us emotionally - regardless of whether they are produced technically or whether they are shooting stars. We try to explore these mechanisms artistically: when does technology become emotional, how can you touch people through the use of technology."

Beyer sees "Chasing Waterfalls" as a critical contribution to the ethical debate about what people will decide for themselves in the future and what they will leave to artificial processes. AI is already screening users on the web and sending them advertising tailored specifically to them. "The digital world has long influenced real decisions." On the other hand, Beyer sees a great creative opportunity to create something new with AI.

This applies not least to the opera business. "It's exciting to take this step and no longer have everything under control," he says, referring to the scene in which the artificial intelligence writes, composes and sings its own aria. The Norwegian soprano Eir Inderhaug spent two weeks in a recording studio to equip the AI ​​with the vocals. In terms of content, the AI ​​receives instructions that it develops itself: "Write an opera aria in which you reflect on yourself. You're allowed to be cynical and humorous."

AI as a creative partner

The librettist Christiane Neudecker, who also experimented with AI text generators, was initially reserved. But over time, she has accepted AI as a creative partner. "The exchange was surprisingly inspiring, also on a poetic and content level," says Neudecker. However, the specific text passage is created shortly before the performance. For security reasons, Beyer has to approve every text that the AI ​​writes.

"We are surprised in this one scene. There is now content that we did not know before. That is the experiment," says Beyer. But that doesn't apply to the whole opera. "It's important to us to have a plot line. The human ego gets into an identity crisis in the diversity of its digital projection surfaces and self-portrayals and has to relocate itself."

The soprano Eir Inderhaug can be experienced as herself and as a digital twin. The approximately 70-minute performance is designed for six vocal soloists, a virtual voice and a chamber orchestra. The Hong Kong artist Angus Lee will conduct the Staatskapelle as co-composer and conductor. In November, the work is to be experienced at the New Vision Arts Festival in Hong Kong.

Yorum yapabilmek için üye girişi yapmanız gerekmektedir.

Üye değilseniz hemen üye olun veya giriş yapın.

NEXT NEWS