“Robert Mann and His Time Machine” is a piece conceived to work in parallel with video-projection. I like to call this concept a “virtual opera”. Although very different from traditional operas, I call this idea “opera” because I am presenting a narrative through music. However, all the elements are “virtual”. There is no physical representation of a stage, or actors, or singers… everything is part of the audience’s imagination. Several instruments have specific notes/gestures that are synchronised with the images/text in the video, triggered in real time. For this, there is a video-operator on stage that follows the conductor. “Robert Mann and His Time Machine” tells the story of a young man that travels in time. By doing it, he creates an electrical problem in his entire flat that cannot be solved until he returns.
30 days after, the remaining residents are still not aware of his location and start an intense discussion to solve the situation. There are several characters in the story, all represented by a different instrument. In the score, the video-cues are synchronised with their musical gestures, in order to give the impression that the instruments are “speaking” the text.” Nuno Lobo
Casa da Música, Porto, Portugal