"Tesla" was an immigrant whose transformative ideas challenged the staid society, inherited wealth, and power structure of the Gilded Age. It brings to life the revolutionary race with Thomas Edison to fuel a new era of electricity, and the portentous aftermath: from the peak of worldly renown, Nikola Tesla pursues relentless dreams of tapping natural forces that could further liberate mankind, but instead lead to his earthly demise. A true visionary, Tesla gave away a vast number of patents that were fossil fuel-consuming, and pursued the Tesla Coil to connect humanity to the very wheelwork of nature and allow the extraction of free and non-polluting energy for all. A peer of Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and J.P. Morgan (all characters in the opera) he nonetheless died a pauper, crushed by the greed and hunger for power of his contemporaries.
Recorded from Audience during 2004
New York City Opera
Vox Festival Workshop:
Tesla Reflection Endsong (excerpt from end of Parallel Worlds)
Vocal Solo: Nikola Tesla (2 pianos replace the orchestra for this workshop)
Scene 5 - Parallel Worlds of Tesla & Edison - Split Lab Scene (excerpt)
Vocal Quintet: Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, JP Morgan, George Westinghouse and Tommie (aka Huckleberry) (2 pianos replace the orchestra for this workshop)
Steeped in the forests of where I called
my home, there was no inkling of this rush...
Only the clatter of water and matters of
poverty, sickness, religious transgression.
My mother was an artisan, an inventor...
From cheap and borrowed bits,
She made each day we lived...
I had so little but...
The books I'd seen and my ideas...
And a wind that bent the fir trees over
so only I could see and hear.
Only I alone. Only I could see and hear
the fierce, but useful force behind it all...
Only I alone.
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Example of Carson Kievman's music fully realized with orchestra & chorus: Symphony No. 2(42) - Resurrection (excerpt from 4th Movement)
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