Breaking the waves
by Missy Mazzoli
Wednesday 31 May 2023 - Opéra Comique
Breaking the Waves is an opera in three acts by Missy Mazzoli with a libretto by Royce Vavrek. It is based on the 1996 film of the same name by Danish auteur Lars von Trier. The opera was first performed on September 22, 2016, by Opera Philadelphia.
Set in the Northern Highlands of Scotland, “Breaking the Waves” tells the story of a psychologically fragile and sexually frustrated young woman, Bess, married to Jan, who works on an oil rig.
After an accident that leaves him paralyzed, Jan encourages Bess to take lovers and sleep with other men, pushing her into increasingly dangerous relationships against the growing hostility of the rigid Christian inhabitants of this small Scottish village.