Nowadays the name «Tesla» stands for electromobility.
The opera «Electric Saint», however, is based on the historical figure of Nikola Tesla. It highlights the rivalry between him and his fellow inventor and competitor Thomas Edison, both pioneers of electrical engineering with diametrically opposed life philosophies. These two central figures were like the Bill Gates or Steve Jobs of our times – the one, a radical genius with an eye for details, and the other, a brilliant inventor, clever businessman and self-marketer. Tesla wanted to make his electrical inventions available to everyone for the benefit of humanity, while Edison was more interested in accumulating wealth. To understand Tesla’s character, it is important to know that the Croatian inventor was born into the family of an orthodox priest. He never felt that his faith conflicted with his involvement in scientific progress – a dualism expressed in
the title of the opera. This opera is the fourth collaboration between the composer Stewart Copeland and the librettist / director Jonathan Moore, whose joint works have recently debuted at the Chicago Opera (2017) and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden (2013). The five-time Grammy winner Copeland was one of the founding members and legendary drummer of the band «The Police». Later he has made a name for himself as well with film scores for Oliver Stone’s «Wall Street» and Francis Ford Coppola’s «Rumble Fish». The actor, director and librettist Jonathan Moore has worked at theatres as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre or the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He co wrote the libretto and directed the world premiere of «Greek» by Mark Anthony Turnage in Munich.