Below the Floorboards

By Stephanie Kollgaard

This opera has quite an interesting background. According to Wikipedia the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center asked several artists to develop an opera to attract a younger audience and Wainwright ended up getting the farthest with his project. He split from the Met and Lincoln Center however as he wanted it to be in French, not English. It debuted in 2009 at the Manchester International Festival in the UK with subsequent performances in London and Toronto in 2010. And now the Brooklyn Academy of Music is doing a limited run the 19th-25th.

The gist of it is an aging opera star from Paris, Regine Saint Laurent, is planning a return the stage after losing her voice in the middle of the second performance of Eleanor of Aquitaine, an opera written specifically for her. It takes place the night before Bastille Day in 1970 and her failed…

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