Android Opera
Scary Beauty


Sharjah Performing Arts Center in  Sharjah, UAE
Festival Inter-Resonance: Inter-Organics curated by Yoko Hasegawa, organized by Sharjah Art Foundation
2020/1/31 16:00 START


Düsseldorf, Germany
Festival Hi! Robot Mensch Machin
2019/3/13 20:00 START


Symbol zone(ground floor), Miraikan(National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation)
2018/7/22 20:30 START



Concept, Composition, Direction, Piano: Keiichiro Shibuya
Vocals, Conducting: Alter 3 (Supported by mixi, Inc.)



The operatic performance Scary Beauty, conceived and directed by composer and musician Keiichiro Shibuya, features a humanoid android with artificial intelligence (AI) that conducts a human orchestra and sings alongside the players. Although Shibuya composed the music, the android, Alter 3, is responsible for deciding and leading tempo, volume and singing expression.


The opera lyrics are an amalgamation of critical texts: a love song by Michel Houellebecq, cut-up texts by William S. Burroughs, extracts from Ludwig Wittgenstein’s last work, On Certainty, and others.


A metaphor for the transitional nature of the relationship between humans and technology, the performance shows the fatalistic side of the future, where humans cannot exist without the technology they create.


A prototype of the opera with an early version of the android was performed in Australia in 2017. The work then had its world premiere with an updated android called Alter 2 at ALIFE 2018, which was an international conference on artificial life at the Miraikan, Tokyo. Alter 2 was created by robot scientist Hiroshi Ishiguro, and it used an autonomous AI program developed by artificial life scientist Takashi Ikegami. Alter 3 is the newest iteration of the android, further developed by the scientists with contributions from mixi, Inc. and Warner Music Japan Inc. The latest version of the opera with Alter 3 was successfully performed in Düsseldorf in 2019 and in Sharjah (UAE) in 2020 Jan.


Photograph by Sharjah Art Foundation



M1. The Third Mind
M2. Introduction
M3. Scary Beauty
M4.The Decay of the Angel
M5. On Certainty



CREDIT (Latest, Sharjah in 2020 Jan):
Concept, Composition, Direction, Piano: Keiichiro Shibuya
Vocals, Conducting: Alter 3 (Supported by mixi, Inc.)
Orchestra Performance: NSO Symphony Orchestra (UAE)


System Architect and Electronics: Kotobuki Hikaru
Music Technical Adviser: Yasuaki Itakura, Motoharu Kawashima
Sound Design: Yoshiyuki Kanamori, Yu Kudo (Oasis Sound Design Inc)
Lighting Design: Takayuki Fujimoto (Kinsei R&D)
Alter 3 Performance Operation & Development: johnsmith
Video Operation: Kotaro Konishi
Technical Assistant: Motoki Ohkubo
Program Support: Masayuki Momo, Shinichi Yamaguchi, Koji Takahashi
Stage Manager: So Ozaki, Kazuya Kushimoto


Alter Series Hardware and Software Architecture Design & Programming: Hiroshi Ishiguro, Kohei Ogawa, Takashi Ikegami, Itsuki Doi
Alter 3 Software Architecture Design & Programming: Atsushi Masumori, Norihiro Maruyama, Alternative Machine Inc
Alter 3 Simulator Development: mixi, Inc.


Score Writing: Nozomu Kaneda
Vocaloid Support: Justine Emard


Public Relations: Naoki Takami (Warner Music Japan)
Production Management: Naomi Ohki, Natsumi Matsumoto, Misato Aonami
Producer: Kazunao Abe
Executive Producer: Takehito Masui (Warner Music Japan)
Produced by Warner Music Japan Inc / ATAK TOKYO CO, LTD