· Co presented by Opera Ventures, Scottish Opera and Edinburgh International Festival, following the critically acclaimed production of Greek in 2017

· A co-production by Opera Ventures, Scottish Opera and Houston Grand Opera, in association with Bristol Old Vic

The European premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s dark and daring opera, Breaking the Waves, takes place at this summer’s Edinburgh International Festival.

It opens on August 21 at King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, for three performances. Based on Lars von Trier’s award-winning film, Breaking the Waves is directed by Tom Morris, the Tony Award-winning Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic whose work includes War Horse, Touching the Void and The Death of Klinghoffer at ENO and the Met.

Scottish Opera Music Director Stuart Stratford conducts The Orchestra of Scottish Opera. American soprano Sydney Mancasola, a grand finals winner of the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, is Bess McNeill, a young woman living in a deeply religious community in the Scottish Highlands in the 1970s.

Also in the cast are Edinburgh-born baritone Duncan Rock as Bess’s husband Jan Nyman; Wallis Giunta, winner of the 2018 International Opera Awards’ Young Singer of the Year; Orla Boylan; former Scottish Opera Emerging Artist Elgan Llŷr Thomas (Ariadne auf Naxos 2017); Byron Jackson and Freddie Tong. The libretto is by Royce Vavrek and the set and costume designer is Soutra Gilmour.

Breaking the Waves caused a sensation when it premiered at Opera Philadelphia in 2016, and went on to win the 2017 Best New Opera from the Music Critics Association of North America and was shortlisted for an International Opera Award.

Alex Reedijk, Scottish Opera General Director said: ‘Breaking the Waves is our second co-production with Opera Ventures for the Edinburgh International Festival, following the critical success of Greek in 2017. Missy Mazzoli is one of America’s finest contemporary composers, and we are so excited to be part of the journey for her incredible work’s European premiere, with the very talented Tom Morris directing and our own brilliant Music Director Stuart Stratford conducting.’

John Berry, Artistic Director and Founder of Opera Ventures said: ‘Opera Ventures’ first project, Greek by Mark-Anthony Turnage, made a huge impact in Scotland and New York City, and we are delighted to follow this with Breaking the Waves by one of the most theatrical operatic voices of her generation, Missy Mazzoli. This new production shows the significant value of international collaboration and philanthropic support in bringing contemporary opera to a wider audience. I am very pleased to be working again with director Tom Morris.’

This production has been made possible with support from Howard and Sarah Solomon Foundation, Denise Coates Foundation, Karl Sydow, Scottish Opera’s New Commissions Circle, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and a syndicate of donors.


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