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Breaking the Waves

opera • screen to stage • dating & sex • disability • heart-breaking • married life
  • Filmed Performance
  • Opera Philadelphia
  • Perelman Theater
  • Free
Breaking the Waves - Opera Philadelphia | Thespie

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 performance has been made available as part of Opera Philadelphia's first ever Digital Festival. Please consider making a donation on Opera Philadelphia's website.

  • Duration
    2 hours 10 minutes

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