The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is a new one-act opera by composer Elena Rueher and librettist Royce Vavrek, adapted from the a steampunk graphic novel written and drawn by Sydney Padua . This comedic new opera features Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, the true-life unsung inventors of the first computer, in an alternative universe where they successfully use their new invention to “fight crime’“.

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician, gambler, and proto-programmer, whose writings contained the first ever appearance of general computing theory. Charles Babbage was the eccentric inventor of the “Difference Engine”, an enormous clockwork calculating machine that would have been the first computer, if he had ever finished it.

Ada Lovelace was the first great genius to develop a programming language, and who is still not generally known. By bringing this historical figure to light, this opera demonstrates that there is a history of great scientists that are women.

In this opera, the sounds of an actual working Difference Engine were recorded in Seattle, WA, and programed into an electronic marimba (MalletKAT). The MalletKAT is an instrument similar to a synthesizer, but played with mallets by a percussionist.

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