A private world between brother and sister will be played out with imagination and destruction in Eastman Opera Theatre’s performance of “Les Enfants Terribles” by Philip Glass on Feb. 1-4 at Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester.
This hybrid dance-opera features music by Glass, text adapted from the work of Jean Cocteau by Glass and Susan Marshall as well as direction by Steven Daigle, artistic director of Eastman Opera Theatre. Wilson Southerland serves as music director with Eran Hanlon as choreographer.
Articulating Cocteau’s belief in the transcendent power of imagination and creativity, “Les Enfants” is the story of Paul and Lise, two characters so caught up in a world of their own imaginings that they can no longer see reality.
“A brother and sister left orphaned in their teens create a private world within a shared bedroom where they find comfort and dependency through ‘the game’ — Paul and Elisabeth’s delusional combination of unadulterated fantasies,” Daigle said. “The ‘game’, once innocent, becomes marred with power, control, jealousy and destruction as the pressure of adulthood and society’s expectations attempt to invade the room these siblings have created.”
In “Les Enfants Terribles,” singers and dancers simultaneously portray the action.
“This unique opera requires a very important dance component,” Daigle said. “Two members of the professional dance community of Rochester are choreographed by Eran Hanlon. The dancers supply an abstract expressive style to the worlds of the siblings Paul and Elisabeth. From moments of a childish naive energy, a self-centered possessiveness to a sexual tension, the dancers weave through the space and storyline, adding a counterpart to the singers and percussive like rhythm of the three-piano instrumental ensemble.”
The performance runs 1 hour, 30 minutes without an intermission. There will be no late seating. Pre-performance talks are presented one hour before the show in Eastman Opera Studio. The opera will be performed in French with English supertitles.
Admission costs $24 for the general public, $10 for students. Tickets are available by phone, online and at Eastman Theatre Box Office, 433 E. Main St., Rochester. Call (585) 274-3000 or visit eastmantheatre.org for information.