“The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” is a magnificent and wonderful opera

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Adam Lau as Kobun and Moore as Jobs.

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Adam Lau as Kobun and Moore as Jobs.

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Adam Lau as Kobun and Moore as Jobs.

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Bille Bruley, in her Atlanta Opera debut, plays Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple. The tenor was impeccable. His voice is as crisp and sweet as a sugar cane sprinkled Braeburn. Elizabeth Sutphen, also in her Atlanta Opera debut, plays Chrisann Brennan, who was romantically involved with Jobs in Apple’s early days and gave birth to his child, Lisa, whose paternity Jobs denied for decades. years. Sutphen, a coloratura soprano, shone with her nimble runs and trills.

Sarah Larsen is captivating in her role as Laurene Powell Jobs, who married Steve Jobs in 1991 and was with him until his death in 2011. Larsen, a mezzo-soprano, grounds Jobs’ positive and negative energies throughout the opera. Despite all the energy it burns, it is a smooth river, or the smooth stones below. Larsen is a deep and welcome breath in the whirlwind of industry and business. Adam Lau plays Kobun Chino Otogawa, a Zen priest and spiritual advisor to Job. Lau is a bass whose singing resonates in every sense of the word.

Buddhism plays a major role in the opera. All is well, but Jobs does not seem to adhere to the main Buddhist teachings. It derives thoughts of simplicity, function, cleanliness, righteousness from it, but it fails time and time again with human interactions.

That said, it’s odd to pay homage to Jobs’ many successes (note: Bates and Campbell are quick to show Jobs at his ugliest part), while just outside the show, there was a contingent of the Atlanta Opera’s hair and makeup team protesting the company for fighting their efforts to unionize (recently discussed on NPR).

It wasn’t just Jobs who created Apple. It’s countless other people who have worked hard for a long time to make Apple what it is. It’s not just Bates, who wrote an incredible soundscape for the opera, but the musicians, sound engineers and many others who put the score on stage. It’s not just the management of the Atlanta Opera that presents an opera that should be seen by as many people as possible, because it raises more questions than it answers. It is also the lighting team, the costume team, the brilliant decorator, the hair and makeup team and many others.

Perhaps, through the prism of the turbulent and spectacular life of Steve Jobs, we can see our own lives as not heaping up the universe, but smoothing it out; polishing it with our own singular and particular talents. To understand each other, beyond our phones and computers. Knowing that we are not machines, even though our attachments to them might tell us otherwise, but simply humans.

REVIEW

“The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs”

8:00 p.m. April 6; 3 p.m. April 8. $41 – $146. Cobb Energy Center Performing Arts Center, 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, Atlanta. 770-916-2852, cobbenergycentre.com


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Logo ArtsATL

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MEET OUR PARTNER

ArtsATL (www.artsatl.org), is a non-profit organization that plays a vital role in educating and informing the public about the arts and culture of the metro Atlanta area. Founded in 2009, ArtsATL’s goal is to help build a sustainable arts community contributing to the economic and cultural health of the city.

If you have any questions about this or other partnerships, please contact Senior Director of Partnerships Nicole Williams at [email protected].

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