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The Pine Mountain Music Festival and Guerilla Opera present a concert version of Elena Ruehr’s opera “Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage” based on the steampunk graphic novel by Sydney Padua.
Meet Victorian London’s dynamic duo: Charles Babbage, unrealized inventor of the computer and his accomplice, Ada Lovelace, a peculiar proto-programmer. Lovelace translated a description of Babbage’s plans for an enormous mechanical calculating machine in 1842, with annotations three times longer than the original work. Her footnotes contained the first appearance of general computing theory a century before an actual computer was built. Sadly, Lovelace died a decade after publishing her paper and Babbage never built his machines. The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage presents an alternate reality in which Lovelace and Babbage build the difference engine, program runaway economic models, battle a scourge of spelling errors and, of course, fight crime!
Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is a new comic opera by composer Elena Ruehr and librettist Royce Vavrek based on Sydney Padua’s graphic novel. The opera utilizes sounds from the only working difference engine in the world, recorded in Seattle. The clicks and clacks of the machine are morphed into a percussion section and mapped onto a midi marimba so that the sounds are played as part of the opera. Unlike traditional opera companies, Guerilla Opera artists perform without a conductor or formal music director. This is unusual and distinguishes them in the field of opera. This practice requires extraordinary awareness and communication skills that can only be honed through consistent practice by a group of artists working together over time.
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