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The Night Falls – a dance opera

A new American mythology that asks if art and community can successfully combat nihilism and despair.

Overview

The Night Falls is a new dance-driven blend of dance, opera, and musical theater choreographed and directed by Troy Schumacher (NYC Ballet), with book and lyrics by Karen Russell (Swamplandia!), music and lyrics by Ellis Ludwig-Leone (San Fermin), and set design by Jason Ardizzone-West (Jesus Christ Superstar NBC).

At times of great crisis, the Sirens emerge from the depths. They sing to the lonely, the desperate, the lost. Isolated people across America begin to hear a dangerously beautiful music in their sleep—a song that spirals toward oblivion. Its shattering pitch sends their souls into exile, dividing the part of them that wants to live from the part that longs to fall.

Our three haunted principals—George, Felisberto, and Angela—begin to suspect that the Sirens are summoning them to a Floridian tourist trap called “The Night Falls”: a derelict campground and watery grotto, home of “the world’s eeriest echoes.” Once there, each discovers they are not alone—and that they have so much more than a nightmare in common.

Odysseus, in the original myth, withstood the Sirens’ cries by lashing himself to his mast. In our story, these broken people tether themselves to one another. The Night Falls is an evening-length multi-genre piece that blends opera, dance, and theater together to tell a new myth for our fractured era. It asks if art and community can successfully combat nihilism and despair—and if humble humans can brace themselves against the song of the Sirens.

Staged for 8 dancers, 8 singers, and musical ensemble, The Night Falls will run approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

As a producer of new works that are defining contemporary American opera, The American Opera Project was thrilled to join The Night Falls as a producer in 2019, providing libretto readings and music workshops in September of that year. AOP is committed to the continued development and the world premiere of The Night Falls in 2022.

 

Project Media

The Vortical Song (Piano-Vocal DEMO from The Night Falls)
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In “The Vortical Song”, a group of random, desperate strangers around America begin to feel a collective pull towards oblivion, in the form of an old commercial for an abandoned theme park in Florida, and do all they can to resist the call.
Music by Ellis Ludwig-Leone
Performed by David Merino, Melissa Harvey, Catherine Brookman, Ju-eh Chen, Sishel Claverie, Matthew Gamble, Laura Virella, Trevor Martin
Piano/Music Direction: Mila Henry
Recorded Sep 23, 2019, The National Opera Center, New York, NY

“The Siren Song” (Piano-Vocal DEMO from The Night Falls)
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In “The Siren Song,” three beautiful underwater performers from a long-abandoned theme park in Florida lure Felisberto into their grotto to join them in eternity.
Music by Ellis Ludwig-Leone
Performed by Melissa Harvey, Catherine Brookman, Ju-eh Chen
Piano/Music Direction: Mila Henry
Recorded Sep 23, 2019, The National Opera Center, New York, NY

About The Night Falls
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The creators of The Night Falls discuss their new dance-opera during a Project Springboard: Developing Dance Musicals 2018 residency in New York City.

Start and End Dates

06/01/202006/30/2021

Location

Brooklyn, New York

Project Created By

Brooklyn, New York
The American Opera Project has been at the forefront of the contemporary opera movement for over 30 years through the commissioning, developing, and producing of opera and music-theatre projects. AOP further expands the operatic field through its training programs Composers & the Voice, AOP’s in-house, two-year fellowship program for emerging composers & librettists, and The…

In Collaboration With

composer, co-librettist
Brooklyn, New York
choreographer, director
New York, New York
Co-librettist
music director
New York, New York

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