5 Reasons Why “anatomy theater” Is A Must-See

On June 16, David Lang’s anatomy theater makes its world premiere at REDCAT as part of LA Opera’s Off Grand initiative. This gritty opera tells the story of an 18th-century English murderess and the anatomists, who painstakingly try to discover the root of evil by publically dissecting her body. Composed and co-written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang, anatomy theater is an inventive opera experience.

Here are five reasons why anatomy theater is not-to-be-missed.

A scene from a 2016 workshop of Anatomy Theater; Photo: James Daniel

A scene from a 2016 workshop of anatomy theater; Photo: James Daniel

Peabody Southwell. She’s the stunning mezzo-soprano who plays Sarah Osborne, the English murderess. The fantastic thing about her performance is she has to play dead for 50 minutes – while she’s dissected – and she sings while “deceased.” Check out Southwell discussing this feat below.

It’s bold and unexpected. This is not your classic opera with sweeping music and a romantic plot. (Although, we love those too!) anatomy theater pushes the boundaries of opera. It’s gory and dark and more reminiscent of American Horror Story and Penny Dreadful than Puccini.

You’re immersed in the story. In true anatomy theater fashion, audience members not only watch the opera, but experience what it would have been like to witness a public dissection in the 18th-century. (Well, not a real public dissection, but thanks to the magic of theater, it’s pretty close.)

Everyone’s A Villain. There is no hero in this story. It’s a gritty look into the lives of “bad” souls, where no one comes out unscathed.

It’s a World Premiere. Who wouldn’t want to say that they were one of the first people to experience Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated Lang’s newest work?

For more information and to purchase tickets to anatomy theater, click here.


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