The Tale of the Great Computing Machine - a Tech Opera Success!

In December 2022, KTH Royal Institute of Technology staged a newly composed opera with 17 performances in our former reactor hall, now used as an creative space for research, education and performance. 

We will present how we communicated that Sweden's oldest and largest technical university commissioned and staged an opera, and what attention we got. 

One thing is that we asked the public to help fund the opera through a crowdfunding campaign – “Fund a Bar“. The campaign was a resounding success that not only brought in money for the opera, but also created a screaming desire for tickets. 

The opera “The Tale of the Great Computing Machine” is based on the book with the same title, written in 1966 by Hannes Alfvén, a KTH Professor who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1970. The story is told from a distant future, where the significance of humans is reduced to an evolutionary step on the road to wise and all-knowing computers.  

In the book, Alfvén envisages a great deal of the developments we are already a part of today, and the relationship between humans and technology makes it continuously relevant. 

We will share how we tackled the project and what we have learned. 

What we do:

Leif Handberg, Associate professor in Media Technology,  
KTH Royal Institute of Technology 

Ellie Karlsson, Project manager event and communication,  

KTH Royal Institute of Technology 

Leif Handberg
Ellie Karlsson