This preview has been provided by North Carolina Opera.
North Carolina Opera will present Les Enfants Terribles (Children of the Game), a dance opera by Philip Glass, on January 19, 20 and 22, 2012 at the Fletcher Opera Theater at the Progress Energy Center in Raleigh, NC. Robert Weiss, Artistic Director of Carolina Ballet, will serve as director and choreographer, and the production will feature dancers from Carolina Ballet as well as a quartet of young singers. The opera will be sung in French with English supertitles.This work is a fascinating blend of genres which tells its story simultaneously in dance and song.
Les Enfants Terribles was created by Philip Glass and Susan Marshall in 1996. It is based on the 1929 novel of the same title by Jean Cocteau and the 1950 film from Jean-Pierre Melville. It is the third of a trilogy of operas that Glass composed based on works of Cocteau. January 31, 2012 marks the 75th birthday celebration of Philip Glass, one of America’s most popular composers, whose work includes opera, symphony, ballet and film (The Hours, No Reservations, The Thin Blue Line, Kundun, among others).
Gérard tells the story of a brother and sister, Paul and Lise, who live in a fantasy world of their own imaginings. They are severed from the outside world when Paul – after being struck by a snowball thrown by his idol Dargelos – falls ill and is forced to stay home from school. Shortly thereafter, their mother’s untimely death leaves them completely alone.
Isolated and totally dependent on each other, they pass their days in their “Room,” acting out their wild fantasies, which they term “playing the Game.” At first innocent, these games become increasingly twisted. Gérard, their only friend, visits them and serves as their private audience.
Lise, growing tired of this oppressive situation, eventually gets a job as a model. She befriends another model, Agathe, and brings her home. Agathe looks exactly like Dargelos, and her presence further threatens the delicate balance that these “children” have created.
Lise’s last chance to get away crumbles when her fiancé Michael dies in a car crash. Fate has set the stage for tragedy. Unable to accept that her brother Paul has fallen in love with Agathe, Lise acts to prevent it. She tricks their friend Gérard to marry Agathe, insuring that she and Paul will never be separated. But the “magical” world the two of them had before cannot be recreated. Paul tries to poison himself, and in the confusion that follows, the truth about Lise’s plot comes out. What had begun as an innocent, children’s Game ends tragically in death and destruction.
Tickets are $25 to $83 and are on sale now by calling the North Carolina Opera Box Office at 919-792-3850, filling out the form available at www.ncopera.org or going to www.ticketmaster.com. Performances will be on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m., Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 22 at 3 p.m.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA OPERA
North Carolina Opera was formed in 2010 from the merger of Capital Opera Raleigh and The Opera Company of North Carolina. It is dedicated to presenting operatic performances at the highest level throughout the Triangle. We also have a robust education program that brings opera to schools across Wake County and surrounding counties. North Carolina Opera brings international level artists to Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, and also engages the best in local Triangle talent.