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Ellen West @ Prototype
January 19, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Inspired by one of the earliest cases of existential analysis, Ellen West is a remarkable new opera that explores 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. Poet Frank Bidart and composer Ricky Ian Gordon examine the lives of psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger and his patient, “Ellen West.” 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 journals, which shine light on her deeply personal struggles.
Co-produced by Beth Morrison Projects and Opera Saratoga
Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects and Opera Saratoga with generous leadership support from The Poetry Foundation, The Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund, David and Kiki Gindler, and The Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts.
The world-premiere production of Ellen West is a co-production of Beth Morrison Projects and Opera Saratoga.