Opera Philadelphia

The Listeners

A middle-class mother living in a southwestern U.S. 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.

The Listeners examines the lengths to which we, as Americans, 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.


MapAcademy of Music

Wed, Sep 25 7:00 p.m.
Fri, Sep 27 8:00 p.m.
Sun, Sep 29 2:00 p.m.

Runtime is approximately 2 hours and 23 minutes including one 20-minute intermission

Co-commissioned and co-produced with Norwegian National Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago

Opera Philadelphia’s 2024-2025 Season is brought to you by the Artistry Now Matching Fund and Barbara Augusta Teichert

Academy of Music productions are made possible with support from Judy and Peter Leone

Major support for The Listeners has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from OPERA America’s Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, Stephen A. Block, Robert N. Braun, M.D., Marcus Innovation Fund, and Ashley and Eli Wald

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