Adam Hetrick
February 24, 2011

Baritone James Maddalena, who recently reprised his performance in the title role of Nixon in China at the Metropolitan Opera, will star in Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera for the American Repertory Theater.

Maddalena also created the role of inventor Simon Powers in the world premiere of Death and the Powers at l’Opéra de Monte-Carlo last September and will return for the A.R.T. production, which will run March 18-25 at the Cutler Majestic Theatre at Emerson College.

Tony Award nominee Diane Paulus (Hair, Prometheus Bound) will direct the work, which has a score by Tod Machover and a story by US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and Randy Weiner (The Donkey Show). The Boston Modern Orchestra Project will perform the score under the baton of Gil Rose.

In addition to Maddalena, the cast will include Emily Albrink as Simon’s third wife, Evvy; Sara Heaton as Simon’s daughter, Miranda; Hal Cazalet as Simon’s research assistant and adopted son, Nicholas; Doug Dodson as The United Way; David Kravitz as The United Nations; and Tom McNichols as The Administration.

A.R.T. describes Death and the Power as “a one-act, full-length work which tells the story of Simon Powers, a rich, successful inventor, who wishes to perpetuate his existence beyond the decay of his physical being. Reaching the end of his life, Powers uses his vast resources and devises a way to ‘download’ himself into his environment. This transformation turns every object in his surroundings—such as his books, furniture and walls—into a collective, living version of himself, called The System. His family, friends and business associates are left to explore how this transformation impacts their relationships and ability to move forward with their own lives and legacies. Death and the Powers introduces specially designed technology and an animated set—including a chorus of robots and a musical chandelier.”

Production design for Death and the Powers is by Alex McDowell with costume design by David C. Woolard, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Chris Full, visual and software design by Peter Torpey, media design by Matt Checkowski and sound technology by Ben Bloomberg.

For tickets visit AmericanRepertoryTheater. The Cutler Majestic Theatre is located at 219 Tremont St. Boston, MA.