Missy Mazzoli

Opera Philadelphia’s latest new opera Breaking the Waves turned into one of the company’s big successes. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns considers how this story of a Scottish woman whose marital devotion takes her to a sordid end could be something to sing about.

This week, a new opera based on the popular but controversial Lars von Trier film, Breaking the Waves, opened in Philadelphia. With its potent combination of sex, religion and transgression, the subject matter seems ripe for operatic treatment.

Is it a grand opera company, new music ensemble, or one of the weightier additions to Philadelphia’s FringeArts Festival? Opera Philadelphia’s new season seems to be all of those things, says the Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Patrick Stearns.


Dominic M. Mercier

Having premiered much new music, soprano Dawn Upshaw held a master class for singers and Opera Philadelphia's composers in residence…together! The better they understand each other, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns, the better listeners will understand them. 
 



Missy Mazzoli, a 32-year-old composer from Brooklyn, says she never wanted to write an opera until she read the journals of Isabelle Eberhardt, a Swiss adventurer from the turn of the 20th century. Oddly enough, Mazzoli first learned about Eberhardt while listening to NPR. Years later, she stumbled upon the explorer's journals in a bookstore.

Jim Cotter speaks with James Gaffigan. The young American conductor, with a growing reputation at home and abroad, conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra on March 8th, 9th and 10th.

David Patrick Stearns profiles composer Missy Mazzoli. The in-demand Lansdale native has upcoming commissions from major orchestras, and has just premiered her first multimedia chamber opera.

Susan Lewis considers Pennsylvania Ballet's production of the Messiah.