Ellen West

A Chamber Opera

Libretto by Frank Bidart

based on the poem by Frank Bidart

Premiere: Summer 2019, Opera Saratoga

Commission: Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects: Beth Morrison, President and Creative Producer; Opera Saratoga: Lawrence Edelson, Artistic and General Director; The Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund and David and Kiki Gindler. The development of Ellen West was funded, in part, by an award from OPERA America’s Opera Fund: Repertoire Development Fund.

Ellen West is a new chamber opera-theatre work that delves into the world of a hospitalized woman fighting her own body and mind. Based on a true story from the early 20th century of young woman suffering from anorexia and bulimia, this multi-dimensional work shows both her personal emotional roller-coaster and the clinical descriptions of a doctor’s attempts to save her.​

The poem Ellen West by Frank Bidart, which serves as the libretto for this opera, can be found here.

Prototype Festival


Photos by Maria Baranova

Opera Saratoga

Premiere Production, 2019

Photos by Gary David Gold