Theatre & Dance

Mozart vs Machine 

This event is now closed
  • Duration75
  • Price-
  • Age-

Tue 19 Sep, 7:30pm |Tickets £15 ( £12.50 concession)  | Foyle Studio | Age 14+


An innovative, irreverent and hilarious scramble across Mozart opera, electronic sound and video, Mozart vs Machine is a brand new touring work devised by composer Dominic Robertson (formerly known as Ergo Phizmiz) and Mahogany Opera Group that appears across the UK from September 2017.

Mozart vs Machine brings together a wealth of historical figures including the father of electronic music, Raymond Scott. When a device Scott invents to create random musical patterns accidentally tears a hole in the universe, it begins a fantastical encounter that brings him face to face with classical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. “Central to the piece is the question of how vital the march of technology is to the transformation of music: to what extent composition is a product of scientific advances”, explains Robertson. “What happens when Mozart, a composer of imagination, paper, and ink, is placed in a theoretical space with Raymond Scott, an inventor of chance-generated loop machines, and what sense of mutual recognition can these disparate historical figures find?”

What follows is part surreal vaudeville, part philosophical debate, exploring creating music, random chance and the ownership of ideas … all with a little help from film-pioneer Georges Méliès, Lewis Carroll’s logic games, composers John Cage and J S Bach and a local chorus of senior citizen jurors. 

The music and action of Mozart vs Machine features celebrated excerpts from Mozart’s operas such as The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute remixed by Robertson. This is accompanied by large scale video projections and animation, which the live action moves in and out of, frequently ‘breaking the fourth wall’. The result is an almost over-the-top spectacle that constantly plays with the audience’s expectations, asks pertinent questions about contemporary culture and offers an enticing audio-visual brew to boot.


“A burst of colour, noise and imagination...I would be slightly disappointed if you had witnessed anything like it before”

The New Statesman on Dominic Robertson

Dominic Robertson / music, words & video

Frederic Wake-Walker / director

A Mahogany Opera Group production

Developed through Mahogany's Various Stages programme with generous support from Sound and Music