Conceived by K Allado-McDowell, Song of the Ambassadors reimagines opera as a musical ritual producing scientific understanding about the effects of music on the body and mind.

It is first and foremost an opera. It is also a meditation and a neuroscience experiment. The music is by composer Derrick Skye, whose work draws from classical traditions spanning the world, and integrates advanced electronics and instrumental techniques. The libretto is a hymn to the sun, space, and life written by K Allado-McDowell using the AI language model GPT-3, performed by three vocalists representing the opera's titular ambassadors.

The neuroscience experiments are performed by a team of scientists from UCSD, who record and analyze brainwaves, heart rate and subjective feedback of subjects in the audience. An EEG cap worn by Lincoln Center's Chief Artistic Officer, Shanta Thake, will create AI-generated projections during the performance, provided by visual artist Refik Anadol, complimented by set designs from Marcos Lutyens.


TED Talk by K Allado-McDowell and excerpt performance of Song of The Ambassadors at TED2023: Possibility - Our creative relationship with AI is just beginning


The New York Times - Music, Science and Healing Intersect in an A.I. Opera

The work-in-progress “Song of the Ambassadors” got a test run at Alice Tully Hall — with Lincoln Center’s artistic director lending her brain.

BOMB Magazine - Making the Invisible Visible: K Allado-McDowell, Derrick Skye, and Refik Anadol in Conversation

An Artificial Intelligence opera comes to life for the first time.

The Wie Suite - Lincoln Center's Chief Artistic Officer, Shanta Thake, Is Sharing Her Brain (Waves) With the World

“It’s the perfect metaphor for how experiencing live art allows us the space to respond, to tap into our own creative impulses and ultimately give us tools towards healing.”

- Shanta Thake


"The Opera was wonderful! I had a traumatic brain injury three years ago and I'm mostly recovered, but still have a few lingering effects. However, during the opera I started sobbing. Not because I felt overwhelmed emotionally, but because my brain was crying. It was something that happened in the first year of my recovery every time I went to cranial-sacaral therapy. For some reason, something about the show hit me in the same way. It was beautiful."


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, October 25, 2022 at 7PM

Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center
1941 Broadway, New York, NY 10023

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A 3-5 minute survey of audience sentiments around their experience of Song of The Ambassadors.

Song of The Ambassadors Audience Survey