Music by Ricky Ian Gordon
Libretto & Poem by Frank Bidart
Commissioned by Opera Saratoga and Beth Morrison Productions
Sung in English with English Supertitles
AUDIENCE ADVISORY: This production contains mature themes and is not recommended for young children.
Through the evocative poetry of Pulitzer Prize winner Frank Bidart and the beautiful music of Ricky Ian Gordon, explore the emotional, psychological and physical challenges of a woman struggling with perceptions of her body, her relationship with food, and the world closing in around her.
Inspired by one of the earliest cases of existential analysis, Ellen West is a remarkable new opera that brings the audience into the lives of psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger and his patient, “Ellen West.” Throughout her life, Ellen filled journals and wrote poetry. Frank Bidart’s poem, which serves as the primary source for the opera’s libretto, juxtaposes the clinical observations of Binswanger with fictitious entries of Ellen’s writing, which shine light on her deeply personal struggles. This tour-de-force chamber opera stars soprano Jennifer Zetlan in her Opera Saratoga debut as Ellen, along side baritone Keith Phares as her doctor. The world premiere production is directed by Emma Griffin, also in her Opera Saratoga debut, with Lydia Yankovskaya at the podium.