Commissioned by Opera Philadelphia and co-commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, the opera is based on Lars von Trier's controversial film Breaking the Waves. In a libretto by Royce Vavrek, the opera tells the story of Bess McNeill, a religious young woman in the Scottish Highlands in the early 1970s who seeks out other lovers at the request of her husband, paralysed after an accident, in order to then tell him about her sexual activities - at a high price.
British director and choreographer Melly Still, who has been nominated several times for a Tony as well as an Olivier Award for her work, makes her debut on the European mainland. Principal conductor Modestas Pitrėnas leads the St. Gallen Symphony Orchestra.
Another premiere follows a month later on October 17, with the German premiere of Mazzoli's much-performed orchestral work Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) heard at the Theater Pforzheim. The Badische Philharmonie Pforzheim will perform under the musical direction of Robin Davis.