Prototype 2017

In Performance: Breaking the Waves (Prototype Festival)

Prototype Festival Breaking the Waves Missy Mazzoli & Royce Vavrek (USA) NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts 566 LaGuardia Place January 6-9 Based on Lars Von Trier’s 1996 film of the same name, the new opera Breaking the Waves offers a grand showcase for the soprano Kiera Duffy. Duffy delivers a powerhouse performance as Bess McNeill, an unstable, lovestruck girl in a religious seaside town. Von Trier’s story is a bleak one. After her beloved husband is paralyzed, Bess agrees to his demands that she have sex with other men and describe the encounters to him. Her increasing degradation, mistreatment and eventual murder at the hands of the townsmen is depicted as a kind of selfless martyrdom, with various characters continually referring to her “goodness” and “golden heart.” It ...

In Performance: Anatomy Theater (Prototype 2017)

Anatomy Theater (Prototype 2017) New York City Premiere January 7, 8 and 10-14 at 8 PM Composer: David Lang Librettists: Mark Dion & David Lang Director: Bob McGrath Conductor: Christopher Rountree It is sometime in the nineteenth century, somewhere in the western hemisphere. Upon entering the theater I am declared a “surgeon” and led to a lantern-lit holding room where other so-called surgeons and I are served hot sausages (vegetarian options available) and cold beer in aluminum steins. “You don’t want to attend a hanging on an empty stomach!” quips the woman in period dress who slathers mustard on my veggie dog. The surgeons mingle. A drum sounds a militaristic beat and from the dust there appears a hulking, hooded male figure. He violently drags a woman in rags through the crowd. We...