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About Breaking the Waves

Part of Yours Theirs Ours

Composer Missy Mazzoli has arrived. Growing up in small-town Pennsylvania, she taught tap dance to children and eventually found herself taking lessons in composition from a percussionist with the Philly Pops. Three operas later and a Grammy under her belt, Mazzoli recently made history when she became one of the first of two women composers to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera.

This season, BAM presents Mazzoli’s “dark and daring” (The New York Times) reimagining of Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves, the tale of Bess McNeill, a woman besieged by tragedy and the contradictions of the disparate figures in her life. Set in the remote Scottish Highlands, Mazzoli’s textured original score is a nuanced, intensely personal, and ultimately feminist take on Bess’ moral plight. What does it mean to be good when your agency is taken away from you?

Run Time

2hr 50min (incl. intermission)

Start Date

End Date


Due to the nature of BAM's programming, children under the age of five are not admitted to BAM live events intended for adults, unless otherwise noted. This show includes mature themes.

Howard Gilman Opera House

30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

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