• Missy Mazzoli
  • The Listeners

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)
  • orchestra
  • soloists
  • Missy Mazzoli
  • Royce Vavrek, based on an original story by Jordan Tannahill
    • 13th March 2021, Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Oslo, Norway
    View all

Programme Note

From FEDORA:
"The Listeners is an opera about our desperate desire to belong, our search for community and meaning, and the power of charismatic leaders who exploit these desires.

"A middle-class mother living in a southwestern US suburb notices a 'hum,' a high-frequency environmental noise that only a select few people, 'the Listeners,' can hear. A community organization quickly forms to solve the mystery of the hum, but when a de facto leader suggests a spiritual significance the meetings become increasingly cult-like, ritualized experiences. It becomes clear that this community of 'Listeners' is on a collision course of destruction.

"This opera examines the lengths to which we are willing to go in order to find a sense of place and purpose, and the way in which charismatic leaders can exploit these needs to their own ends. An enduring part of our American identity is a sense of deserved and inevitable success and happiness. When this imagined future collides with the realities and struggles of everyday life, dazzling and predatory leaders offering a 'quick fix' can easily prey on the vulnerabilities of the lonely and lost."