There is certainly A Legend Of Zelda Live performance At The Sydney Opera House Up coming Weekend

In a several days’ time, the live performance hall of the Sydney Opera House will ring yet again with the chords of The Legend of Zelda‘s unforgettable soundtracks for the 1st time in a 10 years. Symphony of the Goddesses is the final result of a shut collaboration amongst the symphony’s creator Jason Michael Paul and Nintendo, and it’s an honest recreation of the original audio of the games — “as 1st-occasion as it will get”, states the producer powering it all.

Jason Michael Paul, probably best regarded in Australia for the Enjoy! A Online video Recreation Symphony series that toured in 2007, is dependable for bringing this Zelda live performance to the Opera House, in which it will operate for two exhibits on Sunday 29 October.

Unsurprisingly, he’s a extensive-time admirer of Zelda. “Like numerous, my journey by The Legend of Zelda began at 10 many years aged with the original gold cartridge and NES. I am specially fond of Majora’s Mask — a activity that has taken on a complete new indicating given that I enjoy it with my 10 calendar year aged daughter. Skyward Sword is a beloved [too] Nintendo requested me to create the 25th Anniversary orchestral CD that was unveiled with the bundle. It was an honor… Breath of the Wild is just simply wonderful.”

Enjoy! experienced some Zelda in it already, but this new live performance is all about Nintendo’s most liked series — it will aspect audio from Skyward Sword and Breath of the Wild as perfectly as the series’ classics like Ocarina of Time. A total orchestra and choir will be accompanied by a “stirring” video clip designed for the functionality. Understandably, Nintendo was “quite palms on” with the output. “When the perform is submitted and revisions (if any) are designed, then we only collaborate further on new submissions. Mr. Kondo and Mr. Aonuma oversee all the things and anything that is executed as portion of The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses — it is as 1st-occasion as it will get.”

There are 3 major factors, the producer-promoter states, in bringing video clip activity soundtracks into actuality by an orchestra like Symphony of the Goddesses will have: “…reimagining the scores to audio wonderful being executed by an orchestra and choir, selecting genuinely proficient humans that are equally as passionate about Zelda as they are about arranging and composing, [and] employing a whole lot of the themes and melodies and earning them audio bombastic and big-sounding.”

Whilst it’s likely that a whole lot of the Zelda orchestral parts will bring about nostalgia and strong recollections in listeners, the live performance may possibly also add a bit of deviation from the original soundtracks into the combine: “you will find a very little bit of both”, states Paul. The series has already operate in Perth and Melbourne. [Sydney Opera House]

Check out Additional: Amusement Information

20 Years Later, StarCraft’s Tale is Continue to an Engrossing Take on Area Opera

All Visuals Courtesy of Activision Blizzard

StarCraft was unveiled to the earth 20 a long time back, and in the time since it is grow to be a famous fixture of the aggressive gaming scene. Which tends to make it uncomplicated to fail to remember that it is also a amazing space opera.

Earlier this thirty day period, Blizzard, StarCraft’s developers, released StarCraft Remastered, a facial area elevate to the original title meant to spruce it up (alongside with its expansion, Brood War) for a new era. It didn’t improve anything at all substantive, largely just the graphics, but it available a opportunity to get sucked back again in. And I have. Given that I’m beyond atrocious at the multiplayer, that is meant digging into the sprawling solo marketing campaign, which tells an intricate story of war, betrayal, and greed involving all a few in-video game races. A story that is a lot a lot more engrossing than I remembered.

The story starts with the Terrans, a band of individuals who have colonized deep space. You participate in as a justice of the peace for the Confederacy of Guy, but you speedily sign up for up with the dissident group the Sons of Korhal after the Confederates go away your colonists to die. The Terran marketing campaign is taken up by a fairly clear-cut story in which you combat the Confederates and the Zerg, a race of violent, parasitic aliens who appear to be to have no function but to take in and destroy. The story introduces you to a heroic frontier sheriff in the kind of Jim Raynor and a morally complex heroine, the psychic unique operative Sarah Kerrigan. This to start with tale ends in betrayal: the Sons of Korhal abandon your people today to the Zerg, and Sarah Kerrigan is devoured.

Then the Zerg marketing campaign starts, and items get exciting. The earth of the Zerg is an entirely overseas just one. The Zerg are a lot smarter than they initially seem, but the sentient intelligences serving the Zerg are cruel and petty, sure collectively only by their shared hunger for conquest and blood. The aims of the Zerg marketing campaign are a lot more primal than the Terran just one: you destroy your enemies and take in their territory, waging a awful war against both of those individuals and the Protoss, a warrior race that has travelled throughout the galaxy to crush the Zerg infestation. You devote your to start with missions protecting a chrysalis, an embryonic Zerg organism that provides delivery to an infested version of Kerrigan, recreated as a unique Zerg champion. All her human intelligence and tenacity, turned monstrous. She makes use of her exceptional individuality to acquire electricity inside of the Zerg and sets out to annihilate the Protoss at the time and for all.

Protoss vs. Zerg.

Now, a whole lot of that may possibly not sound all that unique on its own. But what’s compelling about this story, and the Protoss marketing campaign next it, is the way it involves the participant in the beats of the narrative. In StarCraft, taking part in a race is a kind of embodiment. It is a way to study to act, to think, the way they do. Zerg capture territory mercilessly and multiply by way of hideous natural constructions. The Protoss create tiny teams of specialized, thorough warriors with which to purge the Zerg infestation. In both of those instances, you digest the story by accomplishing, by turning into. Learning how to participate in a race indicates finding out how to think like them.

Immediately after a pair of missions taking part in the Zerg, I felt the very same reckless hunger that they did. I looked at the individuals, at the Protoss, and I observed targets. Vectors of expansion. To my surprise, I was rooting for the monsters.

A whole lot of science fiction struggles to attract the audience into imagined spaces, failing to tie fantastical thoughts to features that experience lived in or relatable, but StarCraft passes that check fantastically. It presents an unlikely blueprint for how to inform these sorts of stories. By giving the audience hooks into this world’s inhabitants, by allowing them see how even the most overseas beings in it fully grasp themselves, Blizzard has developed a story that lasts.

The outcome of this is that, even at its most trope-y, StarCraft’s storytelling often feels urgent. As distinctive factions of each and every race participate in off each and every other, the video game pulls the participant into their struggles, compels empathy and fascination even for the entirely alien Zerg. The earth of StarCraft is dense, but it feels lived in and alive. I really don’t just study about and fear the alien hordes. Listed here, I am the alien hordes. Even a lot more than the immaculate tactical gameplay, that kind of storytelling is addictive.

Destiny 2 Makes You the Star of Your Own Space Opera

For a franchise called Destiny, the story of this saga so far leaves much to be desired. Arriving in 2014, the first title promised players an endless world of adventure. Blending the online multiplayer trappings of World of Warcraft and the tight shooting found in the Halo series, Destiny seemed for many to be the last game they’d ever need to pick up.

Instead, Destiny became one of the biggest niche hits of the current generation. Many who came aboard at launch quickly bounced off the game’s repetitive quest structure, perhaps only to return for subsequent DLC drops or new cooperative missions. Only the most hardcore of Destiny players logged on every day, to grind away at the same raid and chase elusive loot.

Destiny 2


Bungie



Maybe a Destiny 2 wasn’t what this dedicated community was looking for. Players who bought into the never-ending story of the first game found plenty to be satisfied with, and those who didn’t had already moved well past Bungie’s latest shooter.

In many ways, this sequel had a lot to prove. Diehard players of the original game had to be convinced why leaving behind all their gear and starting from square one was a good idea, while uninterested skeptics wanted more than just Destiny 1.5.

One of the most immediate improvements in Destiny 2 comes in the storytelling. While the first outing relegated backstory and lore to an encyclopedia hosted outside the game, the second smartly hits reset on the complicated happenings of the universe. For the uninitiated, this could be seen as the first chapter of a sprawling story. Fan-favorite characters are introduced with enough gusto to make a strong first impression, and nearly every important mechanic is explained by dialogue or an on-screen prompt.


Bungie



The opening moments of the story spell doom for the galaxy’s protectors and their stronghold. A new and formidable foe, Dominous Ghaul, attacks the first game’s hub world and effectively wipes out the entire established narrative. Despair is conveyed in a compelling way as the player’s Guardian struggles to crawl their way through the rubble. With a rousing score, solid voice acting, and simple-but-straightforward cutscenes, Destiny 2 feels different than its predecessor because it has an actual story to tell.

It helps that players can point out the villain of the story, even if his motivations are generic. Allied characters serve few functions other than comedic quips and distributing new gear, but their bits of the story continuously keep the intergalactic stakes in perspective. Leaders like Ikora and Zavala are suffering through the dire consequences of failing to protect humanity, and the player’s purpose for grinding through wave after wave of alien hordes becomes even more apparent. Jumping between planets and drop zones has been streamlined too, and the structure of story missions is made to flow naturally amid a deluge of timed challenges and coordinated co-op.

Destiny 2


Bungie



Though the plot wraps up neatly by the end of the campaign, it feels like only the beginning of the real Destiny 2 experience. Even moreso than the first game, this shooter feels like an authentic social experience. Hub worlds are open, populated by questing Guardians looking for their next powerful piece of equipment. Destiny has always been better when played with friends, but this time doesn’t feel like it actively punishes solo players.

There is always a better gun to find, a stronger piece of armor, or a new bonus to stack onto your gear. Hitting the game’s cap of level 20 might seem like a long-term goal in the first few hours of Destiny 2, but by the time you’ve reached it, a whole new set of objectives reveal themselves.

Depending on your desired dedication to Destiny 2, the far-reaching goals can be clearly mapped out around that time. Finishing the story, running a Raid, and powering through some Crucible matches can net you nearly 30 hours of engaging AAA entertainment, with some of the tightest, most satisfying shooting gameplay to be found on the market. It’s hard to walk away from the basic Destiny 2 experience disappointed in what you’ve played, before even touching the social, stat-heavy emphasis of the endgame.

Destiny 2


Bungie



In its execution, high-level Destiny play has you spending hours to chase an incremental upgrade for your Guardian’s power level. Each piece of rare loot to be found offers unique advantages, and the breakneck speed at which your arsenal should change keeps the shooting feeling fresh, even when you’ve played through the same scenario a dozen times. You’ll find yourself running missions with multiple team makeups, testing your shiniest new toys, all the while working toward a small-but-meaningful reward.

For first-timers, Destiny 2 can make it difficult to define how you should spend your time. Strikes, Raids, Crucible matches, Adventures, and Challenges all play with different rules, even if the objective is as simple as point-and-shoot. The nuances of when to run with a coordinated fireteam or the benefits of joining a clan aren’t clearly spelled out, but are wholly essential to success. Likewise, the gear system and menus can be hard to decipher and tend to overwhelm.

There’s something to be said about how Destiny incentivizes the cosmetic and minuscule changes of its gear system, without making you feel too attached to what you’ve just earned. You’ll always need a stronger gun or a better piece of equipment, and that hunt defines the reason you’re likely to keep playing Destiny 2 long after the story ends.

Destiny 2 is available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and comes to PC on Oct. 27.

Score: 4/5

Disclosure: Our review copy of Destiny 2 was provided courtesy of Activision.

‘Dad of Light’ Review: I Can’t Stop Watching Netflix’s Goofy New ‘Final Fantasy’ Soap Opera

Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light uses one of video gaming’s most beloved franchises to explore the bond between a father and son.

Netflix produces and acquires so many TV shows that it’s virtually impossible to keep track. It’s fine if you’re a House of Cards or a Stranger Things—but what if you’re a foreign-language dramedy with a title that might sound forbidding to anyone but hardcore gamers, and ludicrous in general?

As you probably guessed, this is not a hypothetical question. I am here to signal-boost a series called Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light, which quietly arrived on Netflix a few days ago. If you’re not a Final Fantasy fan, don’t worry. Final Fantasy XIV is a game I have never played and could not be less interested in playing. Dad of Light is a character drama that riffs on video game culture, using Final Fantasy as a means to explore the tentative, increasingly tender bond between a father and son. In these grim and frightening times, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light is a warm bubble bath of a TV series. It’s not particularly deep or surprising or well-acted—and damn, I just can’t stop watching it.

Before it arrived on Netflix on September 1, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light—which premiered in Japan back in April—was mostly notorious for sounding like some kind of sex thing. Netflix apparently attempted to fix this perception by changing the title from Daddy of Light—but if you ask me, Dad of Light still kind of sounds like a sex thing.

Which is funny, because apart from a (pretty good!) masturbation joke, Dad of Light is as squeaky-clean as it gets. Yudai Chiba stars as Akio, a young man who has always wished he had a better relationship with his distant, stoic father Hakutaro (Ren Osugi). One of Akio’s few warm childhood memories comes from the day when his father bought him the original Final Fantasy. One night, Akio came out of his bedroom and found his father up late, playing the game himself. They briefly bonded over their shared passion for Final Fantasy—but when Hakutaro got a promotion at his demanding job, he quit the game for good.

Cut to the present, when Hakutaro comes home one day and announces he has abruptly retired from his job. Akio is baffled by the suddenness of his father’s decision, and his father refuses to elaborate. So Akio buys his father a retirement present: A video game console and the massively-multiplayer online game Final Fantasy XIV. By coaching his dad through the game, Akio hopes to kickstart the warm, close relationship he always wanted. And by secretly interacting with his dad through an anonymous online avatar, Akio hopes to befriend him as a “stranger” and discover the real story behind his retirement.

In these grim and frightening times, Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light is a warm bubble bath of a TV series.

So Dad of Light is a soap opera/dramedy with some light mystery elements built around one of the more popular gaming franchises in history. It’s an odd blend, and certainly not a perfect one. Dad of Light demonstrates an almost religious reverence for the Final Fantasy brand, and there are definitely sequences that feel like straight-up Final Fantasy product placement. Frankly, my least favorite Dad of Light scenes are the ones that take place within Final Fantasy XIV, where Akio plays as some kind of blonde cat-lady and Hakutaro plays as a muscular adventure he names, heartwarmingly, Indy Jones. The rudimentary Final Fantasy XIV graphics just aren’t interesting enough to sustain lengthy voiceover conversations (though it’s fun to watch Hakutaro fumble over basic gaming skills like text chat).

But even in weaker moments, the show’s enthusiasm about being Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light never wanes. Every episode of Dad of Light begins with the same cheery monologue over the opening credits:

Dad of Light Project! This is my project to invite my father into the
Final Fantasy XIV world, a place I adore, and go one spectacular adventures with him while concealing my true identity. It’s my way of
showing my father that I care for him!

And goofy as that sounds, there is an actual feel-good story here. You’re genuinely rooting for these guys, and the various (hilariously low-level) problems that crop up along the way feel realistic. Take the way Hakutaro keeps insisting the game is called “Final Fantasia,” or the way that his keyboard malfunctions and embarrasses him by sending gibberish to other players, or his embarrassment when his avatar is caught on a snowy mountain without a coat. If you’ve ever tried to teach someone who grew up with Pac-Man and Donkey Kong how to use a Playstation 4, these scenarios might sound familiar.

But Dad of Light is never condescending to the titular dad, or to those who are less versed in modern games. Its tone is invariably warm and inviting as Hakutaro’s enthusiasm draws him out of his shell. Video games have rarely been treated well in popular culture—branded as murder simulators, or pegged as antisocial, or adapted into shitty blockbusters by filmmakers and studios who don’t actually care about them. Final Fantasy XIV: Dad of Light is refreshingly different: A TV series that understands that video games can actually be a net positive on a person’s life.

Watch now:

Explaining Your Pro-Gaming Career to Mom and Dad

20 Yrs Afterwards, StarCraft’s Tale is Still an Engrossing Consider on House Opera

All Photos Courtesy of Activision Blizzard

StarCraft was unveiled to the world 20 decades back, and in the time due to the fact it’s turn into a legendary fixture of the aggressive gaming scene. Which tends to make it quick to forget about that it’s also a fantastic house opera.

Previously this month, Blizzard, StarCraft’s developers, launched StarCraft Remastered, a experience carry to the first title intended to spruce it up (together with its expansion, Brood War) for a new era. It did not alter everything substantive, generally just the graphics, but it made available a probability to get sucked back again in. And I have. Due to the fact I’m outside of atrocious at the multiplayer, that’s intended digging into the sprawling solo campaign, which tells an intricate story of war, betrayal, and greed involving all a few in-match races. A story that is considerably additional engrossing than I remembered.

The story starts with the Terrans, a band of people who have colonized deep house. You engage in as a justice of the peace for the Confederacy of Man, but you swiftly be a part of up with the dissident team the Sons of Korhal right after the Confederates depart your colonists to die. The Terran campaign is taken up by a pretty clear-cut story in which you struggle the Confederates and the Zerg, a race of violent, parasitic aliens who seem to be to have no reason but to eat and ruin. The story introduces you to a heroic frontier sheriff in the sort of Jim Raynor and a morally difficult heroine, the psychic distinctive operative Sarah Kerrigan. This to start with tale ends in betrayal: the Sons of Korhal abandon your men and women to the Zerg, and Sarah Kerrigan is devoured.

Then the Zerg campaign starts, and issues get exciting. The world of the Zerg is an fully foreign just one. The Zerg are considerably smarter than they initially appear, but the sentient intelligences serving the Zerg are cruel and petty, certain alongside one another only by their shared starvation for conquest and blood. The goals of the Zerg campaign are additional primal than the Terran just one: you ruin your enemies and eat their territory, waging a horrible war against both people and the Protoss, a warrior race that has travelled throughout the galaxy to crush the Zerg infestation. You commit your to start with missions safeguarding a chrysalis, an embryonic Zerg organism that offers start to an infested version of Kerrigan, recreated as a distinctive Zerg champion. All her human intelligence and tenacity, turned monstrous. She makes use of her distinctive individuality to get power inside the Zerg and sets out to annihilate the Protoss after and for all.

Protoss vs. Zerg.

Now, a good deal of that may well not seem all that distinctive on its very own. But what’s compelling about this story, and the Protoss campaign following it, is the way it involves the participant in the beats of the narrative. In StarCraft, actively playing a race is a sort of embodiment. It is a way to understand to act, to assume, the way they do. Zerg capture territory mercilessly and multiply by hideous organic buildings. The Protoss construct little teams of specialised, watchful warriors with which to purge the Zerg infestation. In both situations, you digest the story by doing, by turning into. Learning how to engage in a race usually means learning how to assume like them.

After a couple of missions actively playing the Zerg, I felt the exact reckless starvation that they did. I seemed at the people, at the Protoss, and I saw targets. Vectors of expansion. To my surprise, I was rooting for the monsters.

A good deal of science fiction struggles to draw the audience into imagined spaces, failing to tie fantastical concepts to elements that experience lived in or relatable, but StarCraft passes that exam fantastically. It delivers an unlikely blueprint for how to inform these kinds of stories. By providing the audience hooks into this world’s inhabitants, by letting them see how even the most foreign beings in it realize on their own, Blizzard has created a story that lasts.

The influence of this is that, even at its most trope-y, StarCraft’s storytelling usually feels urgent. As diverse factions of each race engage in off each other, the match pulls the participant into their struggles, compels empathy and fascination even for the fully alien Zerg. The world of StarCraft is dense, but it feels lived in and alive. I never just understand about and concern the alien hordes. Listed here, I am the alien hordes. Even additional than the immaculate tactical gameplay, that sort of storytelling is addictive.

Steve Jobs Opera Premieres in Santa Fe This Saturday

An opera based on the life of late Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs is set to open in Santa Fe, New Mexico this Saturday. Called The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, the opera will have its world premiere showing on July 22 at 8:30 p.m on the Santa Fe Opera’s open-air summer stage.

The opera has been in development since 2015, created by electronica DJ Mason Bates and librettist Mark Campbell. It tells the story of the Jobs and his struggle to balance life, family, and work, and is set to a live orchestra accompaniment, guitar, natural sounds, and expressive electronics, including Apple’s own devices.


Bates described one of the scenes to ABC News in an interview last week, highlighting the moment where Steve Jobs introduces the first iPhone before being exhausted by illness.

At this moment in Mason Bates’ opera “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs,” a harrowing sound emerges from the orchestra pit, a crushing downward progression that’s described in the score as an “electronic shutdown.”

“It’s a combination of a stand-alone synthesizer with the actual sound on the old Macs of hard drives turning off — and one in reverse booting up,” Bates explained in an interview last week at the Santa Fe Opera, where his work will have its world premiere on Saturday.

“That moment is the realization of his mortality, so I wanted to have that kind of shutdown sound,” Bates said. “Even if you can’t recognize it, it adds a little authenticity that the guy who is the subject of this opera is the creator of some of the devices we’re hearing.”

The opera, which is approximately 90 minutes long, kicks off with a prologue in the garage of the Jobs family home in Los Altos, California, with Jobs father, Paul Jobs, gifting him a workbench.

From there, it jumps to 2007, where Jobs unveils the first iPhone, and then shifts back and forth between 2007 and Jobs’ early years developing Apple. Campbell and Bates, who say the opera does not vilify or glorify Jobs, aimed for a non-chronological timeline dictated by emotion and memory. It will feature Jobs and several supporting characters like Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Laurene Powell Jobs, and Chrisann Brennan, with each character highlighted through a unique series of sounds.



The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs has been financially backed by opera companies in San Francisco and Seattle, with guaranteed performances coming to both California and Washington in the future.

Since his death in 2011, Steve Jobs’ life has been the subject of myriad books, movies, and documentaries, including an Aaron Sorkin-penned Danny Boyle-directed feature film that debuted in 2015.

Before “Hidden Figures,” There Was a Rock Opera About NASA’s Human Computers | Daily Planet

“Hidden Figures,” the story of three African-American women whose mathematical skill helped NASA launch astronauts into space and back in the early 1960s, has been both a critical and box office success. With more than $100 million in ticket sales and a stack of award nominations, the movie has inspired audiences with a true story made even more powerful by virtue of the fact that it was largely untold for 50 years. And still mostly unknown is the story of another NASA scientist who beat Hollywood to the punch by putting “human computer” Katherine Johnson’s saga on stage almost two years ago.

Heather Graham is an astrobiologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center outside Washington, D.C. She’s also a gamer, a feminist, and a member of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society. In May 2015, the society staged Graham’s one-act rock opera, “Determination of Azimuth,” which portrays how Johnson and her colleagues Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, were ignored and demeaned on the job at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, because they were black and female. The story has a happy ending: Their work was validated, their expertise accepted. But they had to endure racism and sexism along the way.

Scenes from a May 2015 production of the rock opera about NASA’s “human computers.” (Video: Baltimore Rock Opera Society)

Graham first learned about Johnson while she was a National Science Foundation graduate fellow in K-12 education. She spent one day a week in a majority African-American middle school in Baltimore helping teachers plan experiments and incorporate science into their lesson plans. “I asked the teachers if they ever did a unit in science about the accomplishments of African-American scientists during African-American history month,” she says, ”and they said ‘Sure, we do a unit on George Washington Carver.’ I said wait a minute, there have been so many contributions by African-American scientists since that time. We’ve got to update this curriculum. And they said, ‘If you know of any other black scientists, feel free to write something up.’ So I did.

She put together a 28-day calendar with a lesson about an African-American scientist on each day, and included included scientists going back to the time of the American Revolution. “Of all the stories I read,” Graham says, “no one quite captured my imagination like Katherine Johnson—maybe because she was in space science, maybe because she came from a poor but imaginative family and was a single mother. Something drew me to her story, so I got excited about telling it again.”

Heather Graham 662_DSC_5283.jpeg
Heather Graham during a break in the Famelab Astrobiology finals in 2012, during which scientists gave three-minute science talks.

(Henry Throop – NASA/PSI)

Graham received her Ph.D. in 2014 and (with co-author Eric Church) wrote “Determination of Azimuth” while she was on a postdoc grant, putting in full days of science and late nights and weekends working on the opera. “It’s actually a very technically demanding piece of theater,” Graham says.  The show has seven actors on stage the entire time, plus two puppeteers, four live musicians, and two stage hands. It includes cued video feeds as well as sound effects. “It’s a very experimental show,” she explains. The story has two simultaneous timelines (“We called our staging and sets ‘Sesame Street meets Einstein on the Beach,’ ” says Graham) and all the lyrics in the opera are taken from papers Katherine Johnson wrote with NASA colleague Ted Skopinski.

“My poor actors, reciting equations!” Graham says. “We gave each audience member a ‘briefing file’ for the performance that was packed with all sorts of information on Johnson, the space program, orbital dynamics, and so on. It was awesome watching people flipping back and forth through the packet, trying to keep up with the action. We were pretty much the opposite of a big-budget Hollywood film.

“I’ve seen some of the interviews NASA has done with its modern figures’—women of color at NASA who are scientists, mathematicians and engineers, and they make me really happy,” Graham says, “because I want the message to get out that Katherine Johnson’s achievements aren’t history but rather the beginning of a movement of women in space science! Katherine Johnson is not the first black woman to accomplish some of the things she did but the first woman, period. She’s such an all purpose hero!”

While she is “super happy” to see NASA getting behind the film, Graham says “part of me is sad that the work I did on ‘Determination of Azimuth’ remains a hidden figure at NASA.” The rock opera has had only nine public performances so far, but Graham and her stage manager are on the lookout for other opportunities.

The Real “Hidden Figures”: Katherine Johnson

(NASA)

Katherine G. Johnson, from West Virginia, started high school at 10 and had graduated summa cum laude from what is now West Virginia State University with degrees in mathematics and French by the time she was 18. She was one of the first three African-American students to attend the graduate school there. She began working at NASA in 1953, when she was a single mother raising three children. She worked for NASA until 1986. In 2015, when she was 97, President Barack Obama awarded her the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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