The Listeners

Author(s): Music by Missy Mazzoli, text by Royce Vavrek, based on a story by Jordan Tannahill
Company: Den Norske Opera & Ballett
Running time: 2h 10min approx

Maths teacher Claire hears a mysterious low-frequency noise and the pollution is driving her crazy. The constant ‘hum’ drives her away from her family and towards others who also hear the same all-consuming sound. This support group offers compassion but what lies behind their cult-like rituals?

Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek's new opera is a thriller about social rejection, the abuse of power and echo chambers. Based on an original story by Jordan Tannahill, The Listeners is inspired by an identified phenomenon, the ‘global hum’.

Grammy-nominated Mazzoli was the first woman to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and has already successfully collaborated with librettist Vavrek, with whom she wrote the opera Breaking the Waves.

Co-commissioned and co-produced with Opera Philadelphia and Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Listeners is streamed from the Norwegian National Opera in Oslo as part of the Ultima Contemporary Music Festival.


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