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Breaking the Waves Breaking the Waves Breaking the Waves

Opera Philadelphia

Breaking the Waves

Sep 22, 2016
Oct 01, 2016

This event has passed. 


World Premiere
Music by Missy Mazzoli
Libretto by Royce Vavrek
Based on the film by Lars von Trier (Zentropa Entertainments3)
Performed in English with English supertitles
Aurora Series for Chamber Opera

Sacrificial love

This World Premiere chamber opera by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek is based on the 1996 Academy Award-nominated film by Lars von Trier. Set in the Scottish Highlands in the early 1970s, Breaking the Waves tells the story of Bess McNeill, a religious young woman with a deep love for her husband Jan, a handsome oil rig worker. When Jan becomes paralyzed in an off-shore accident, Bess’s marital vows are put to the test as he encourages her to seek other lovers and return to his bedside to tell him of her sexual activities. He insists that the stories will feel like they are making love together and keep him alive. Bess’s increasing selflessness leads to a finale of divine grace, but at great cost.

This production includes explicit language, nudity, and sexual content, some of a violent nature. Recommended for mature audiences only.

Performance Schedule
Thursday, September 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 24 at 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 1 at 8:00 p.m.

Major support for Breaking the Waves has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and the William Penn Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, and OPERA America's Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Additional commissioning support by Allen Freedman and Judith Brick Freedman.

Co-commission with Beth Morrison Projects

Run Time: Approximately two hours and 35 minutes
Intermission: One 20-minute intermission