ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Turing is a full-scale opera of the story of Alan Mathison Turing as told by the artificial intelligence that he envisioned. A computer program named MIRA creates the libretto and music and “plays” the human singers, musicians, and dancers. She also lends her digitally synthesized voice, accompanied by the live orchestra, to serve as a narrator. The story begins with young Alan Turing as he discovers that he is a homosexual and those close to him realize that his mind works in unusual ways. The second act depicts Turing’s intelligence work during World War II as he masterminds a machine that becomes capable of decoding nearly every piece of intercepted German intelligence. The third act dramatizes Turing’s vision for the future of machine intelligence as well as the brief love affair that lead to his conviction for homosexual acts and his subsequent suicide.
The libretto of the opera is both expansive and dense, with an intricacy of rhyme that befits a digital mind. The music is complex but melodic, with an emotional force that befits Turing’s conception of the unlimited possibilities of a digital mind. Ultimately, the piece deals with the limits of humanity and the inevitability of a transhuman future that Turing not only theorized but also engendered.
A staged production of the first act was presented at the Olympia Theater by the National Opera of Greece in June of 2011. Since then, Farrell and Antoniou have been developing the libretto and music for the second and third acts. A concert of music from all three acts of the opera was presented at National Sawdust in New York City in October of 2017.
Composer: William Antoniou
Libretto: Eamonn Farrell
Conductor: David Bloom
Director: Ashley Tata
Associate Producer: Mariel O’Connell
Production Manager: Jeremy Lydic
The NYC-based company, Anonymous Ensemble is actively developing Turing. The libretto and music are now finished. Recently, director Ashley Tata and conductor David Bloom have been brought on to further develop the work. The team is currently casting singers to help develop the roles and the music. The team is also exploring how to create and implement Mira’s synthesized voice and experimenting with different software options.