Selma Jezková
Based on Lars von Trier’s film Dancer in the Dark

Friday, July 29 at 8:00

The Royal Danish Opera and Orchestra
Conductor Michael Schønwandt
Director Kasper Holten
Composer Poul Ruders
Set design Christian Lemmerz
Lighting design Jesper Kongshaug
Costume Design Maria Gyllenhoff

U.S. Premiere

Rose Theater
Tickets: $30, 45, 50, 60, 75

Poul Ruders is one of contemporary music’s free agents—a lover of sweet melodies with a yen for dark chords, a comedian with a flair for apocalypse.”
—Alex Ross, The New Yorker

“Gloriously, explosively extrovert one minute; withdrawn, haunted, intently inward-looking the next.”
—Stephen Johnson on Poul Ruders

This newest opera by internationally renowned Danish composer Poul Ruders is the evocative, emotional, and epic tale of a poor factory worker with failing sight who sacrifices her own life so her son can see. Inspired by Dancer in the Dark, Lars von Trier’s 2000 film, Selma Jezková inverts the perspective, recasting the story as the dream, or nightmare, of the child who is left behind.

Poul Ruders, whose opera The Handmaid’s Tale was praised by The New York Times for its “shimmering, quasi-atonal harmonies,” is a masterful composer, prodigiously skilled and also audaciously innovative.

Selma Jezková is interpreted by Kasper Holten, artistic director of the Royal Danish Opera, as a dark and compelling story of fate. A grand, gothic, monochromatic set by provocative visual artist Christian Lemmerz brings life to Henrik Engelbrecht’s poetic English-language libretto, sung to Ruders’s expressionistic, startlingly powerful score.

Performed in English with English supertitles