Vilnius Hosts AI Opera: Lost Opera Was Recreated with the Help of Artificial Intelligence

This September, the Lithuanian capital Vilnius is presenting a historical opera  “Andromeda”, which was once considered lost but has been revived with the help of AI. This premiere is part of Vilnius’s 700th-anniversary celebrations.

October 2, 2023. On the occasion of Vilnius’ 700th birthday this year, the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater and the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania decided to create something unique. The answer to this decision was  opera “Andromeda”, created in the 17th century, which was considered lost, since only the libretto written by Virgilio Puccitelli has survived to this day. However, with the help of AI, the music of Marco Scacchi was also revived, and the opera was presented to the public.

In order to recover the lost history, an international team of developers used an artificial intelligence tool (AI model by Martin Malandro).

“As far as we know, this will be the world’s first live opera, for which the entire musical material (score) was created using modern neural network tools. Although the stylistics are similar to the opera of the early baroque, but in generating the music and using artificial intelligence as an instrument, the decisions were made by the people of today. This,it can be said that it will be a recreation of a Baroque opera, with the influence of the 21st century,” – says Lithuanian composer Mantautas Krukauskas, who worked on restoring the music together with Latvian composer Māris Kupčs.

Historical Meaning to Lithuania

When the 17th century opera “Andromeda” was presented to Wladyslaw Vasa, the Grand Duke of Lithuania and the King of Poland,many European countries have not even heard of the opera genre itself. Therefore, it’s a meaningful historical piece for Lithuania, as Marcus Saatchi was the first opera composer in that century in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

Today, after almost four centuries, the revived “Andromeda” will be presented by both Lithuanian and Latvian performers. The program will also feature a Baroque music ensemble “Cappella Concertante Vilnense”, led by Māris Kupčs. The director of the concert performance is Žilvinas Vingelis, founder of the Kosmos Theater, who explores the connections between modern technologies and performing arts.

This project is part of the Vilnius 700th anniversary program, which consisted of many celebrations during this year. The capital’s residents and visitors already had the ability to witness Lithuania’s first-ever Vilnius Biennial for Performance Art, participate in the colorful Pink Soup Fest designed to honor the Lithuanian summertime dish cold beetroot soup, and party at the urban festival As Young As Vilnius headlined by Bastille and Clean Bandit. Those eager to explore the city can still visit the exhibition Pavilion: Vilnius 200 Years Ago open at the National Museum of Lithuania till October 15, or an exhibition Vilnius Poker: The Exhibition available at the modern art MO Museum till January 14.

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