Death and the Powers, an opera of the future and the first robot opera was developed at MIT Media Lab. It was led by renown composer and MIT Media Lab professor Tod Machover, directed by Diane Paulus, with the libretto by former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. The opera and its robotic set pieces were designed by McDowell during his 5-year tenure as Visiting artist at MIT Media Lab.
The opera is embedded with innovative technologies driving tracked and choreographic on stage robots, moving media walls and a robotic ‘chandelier’. Sound, set pieces, robots and visual media support the singer’s offstage disembodied performance.