‘The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing’ to World Premiere at Chicago Opera Theater

By Francisco Salazar

The Chicago Opera Theater is set to present the World Premiere of composer Justine F. Chen and librettist David Simpatico’s “The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing.”

The opera, which is set to be presented at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance” on March 23 and 25, is a semi-biographical and sci-fi-infused retelling of the life and contested death of acclaimed British computer scientist Alan Turing who was instrumental in cracking enemy codes in WWII but died after being convicted and chemically castrated for being a homosexual.

Initially commissioned by American Lyric Theater to celebrate the centennial of Alan Turing’s birth in 2012, “The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing,” will be conducted by Music Director Lidiya Yankovskaya and directed by Peter Rothstein.

The cast will be led by baritone Jonathan Michie who sang the role of Alan Turing in COT’s workshop performance of the opera in 2019 as well as tenor Joseph Leppek, mezzo-soprano Taylor Raven, and soprano Teresa Castillo. Richard Ollarsaba, David Salsbery Fry, and Justin Berkowitz round out the cast.

In a statement, Yankovskaya said, “I’ve been a part of this opera’s development for nearly a decade. It’s been so gratifying to see Justine’s unique voice and David’s dynamic storytelling evolve to bring this powerful work to its full potential. I can’t wait for audiences to finally experience this long-awaited premiere.”