Public Programs And Events

The Art of Change: An Experimental Opera by Jean-Baptiste Barrière

The Art of Change: An Experimental Opera by Jean-Baptiste Barrière

Ernst C. Stiefel Concert Hall, Arnhold Hall, 4th floor
General Public 

The Art of Change is a bold experimental work that introduces a radically new artistic form. Starting with the traditional notion of opera as a type of work that blends music, theater, art, and design into a single form, The Art of Change brings performers and thinkers together on stage and fuses live performance with historical video footage, recorded interviews and multimedia content. All of this is woven together into a tapestry that is generative, interactive, participative, and open. 

As its title suggests, the work centers on the very idea of change and presents various ways of thinking, from the very pragmatic to the most speculative, about what needs to be changed in the world today. Actors, singers, instrumentalists, designers, and philosophers come together, with the audience, to speculate on this question and the many ways in which it can be answered. 

The libretto, by philosopher Chiara Bottici, is the result of a process in which an initial text was developed through a collective authoring process that unfolded on Public Seminar – an online journal of ideas, politics and culture supported by The New School.

No two performances of The Art of Change are the same. Spoken dialogues within each performance are analyzed and processed on the fly through software which captures and develops the melodic and rhythmic patterns of speech to generate instrumental scores for the musicians and electronics. What is more, each evening features two guests – a thinker and a musician - who bring new perspectives and their unique vision to the work.



January 16th, 8pm

January 17th, 5pm & 8pm

January 18th, 5pm & 8pm

January 21st, 8pm


Creative Team:

Jean-Baptiste Barrière, Concept, Video Design & Composition

Chiara Bottici, Libretto

Ashley Tata, Stage Direction

Timo Rissanen, Costume Design

Abigail Hoke-Brady, Lighting Design

Thomas Goepfer, Sound & Video Design

Camilla Hoitenga, Flutes Solo

Levy Lorenzo, Creative Technologist, Percussion


Actors, singers and instrumentalists of The New School’s College of Performing Arts: Hayley Boggs, William Desbiens, Youngwoo Jeon, Kalun Leung, Timmy Ong, Yeji Pyun, Samuel Rachmuth, Veronica Richer, Jane Skapek (assistant director), Zachary Sebek, Alexander Theiss, Jackie Traish, Yunnan Xu


Guest Artists:

January 16: Simon Critchley, philosopher and Joan La Barbara, musician

January 17: Cinzia Arruzza, philosopher and Rebekah Heller, musician

January 18: Dmitri Nikulin, philosopher and Ross Karre musician

January 21: Jamieson Webster, psychoanalyst and Joan La Barbara, musician

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