Eastman Opera Theatre: Lear on the Second Floor by Anthony Davis

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Date(s) - 11/06/2022
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Kilbourn Hall


Directed by Steve Daigle, conducted by Timothy Long.

Aging, family dynamics, manipulation, suffering, madness, foolishness, order, vision, and loyalty: the themes and character relationships in Shakespeare’s epic tragedy King Lear haunt present-day reality in Davis and Havis’ opera Lear on the Second Floor. Dr. Nora Lear, a respected, successful neuroscientist, as well as a mother with high expectations and feuding children, is plagued by early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, leading to betrayal by her family and her own loss of memory.  She is grasping for control and eventually gives in to what she has become. Davis’ musical language allows the listener to inhabit Nora’s mind, with her feelings of confusion, fear, panic, and loneliness.

“Alzheimer’s Disease now finds itself generationally in almost every family throughout the world.  Many involved in this production, and the audiences who will attend, have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia,” says Daigle, Artistic Director of Eastman Opera Theatre. “Lear on the Second Floor is a poignant, relevant, and personal story. We should all feel grateful to Anthony Davis and Allan Havis for bringing further awareness of this devastating disease through this compelling opera.”

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