In addition to contemporary music impulses, Tesla offers a sociocritical view and seeks to find ways of exiting in time – if at all – the runaway train that, at increasing speed, is leading to our own downfall, the destruction of our planet and, as a result, the entire civilization.
Regarded as one of the most brilliant scientists of the modern era, Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) made dozens of breakthroughs in the production, transmission, and application of electric power – he invented the first alternating current (AC) motor, conducted a range of experiments with mechanical oscillators/generators, electrical discharge tubes, magnetism and early X-ray imaging, and created a flying machine. His "miraculous" inventions, of which more than 700 are patented, and research work changed the world forever.
Tesla gained great renown as an inventor. He demonstrated his achievements to celebrities and wealthy patrons at his lab, and was noted for his showmanship at public lectures. Throughout the 1890s, Tesla pursued his ideas for wireless lighting and worldwide wireless electric power distribution in his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs. In 1893, he made pronouncements on the possibility of wireless communication with his devices. Tesla tried to put these ideas to practical use in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project, an intercontinental wireless communication and power transmitter, but ran out of funding before he could complete it.
Apart from his irresistible urge to explore, Tesla was principally a man and a humanitarian who, owing to his utopian idealism, often came into conflict with the dehumanizing interests of the capital. It is Tesla's highly ethical personality and his philanthropy, on a relentless quest for the common good of mankind, that provide the basic starting points for the new operatic spectacle created by librettist Nejc Gazvoda and composer Slavko Avsenik ml.
In addition to contemporary music impulses, Tesla offers a fresh and sociocritical view of the (mainly capitalist and stepmotherly) managing and exploitation of the human society, the state and nature. Furthermore, with a view to engaging the international public and in the context of Nikola Tesla’s research work and philanthropic spirit, the project seeks to find ways of exiting in time – if at all – this runaway train that, at increasing speed, is leading to our own downfall, the destruction of our planet and, as a result, the entire civilization.
Music: Slavko Avsenik ml.
Libretto: Nejc Gazvoda
Conductor: Simon Krečič
Director: Aleksandar Popovski
Production: SNG Maribor