Opera Philadelphia

Woman with Eyes Closed

World Premiere
Music by Jennifer Higdon
Libretto by Jerre Dye
Performed in English with English supertitles
Part of Festival O20

Postponed to September 2021

A mysterious suitcase filled with stolen masterpieces lands in Mona’s hands, among them a Lucian Freud portrait of a woman with her eyes closed. As the painting stirs up long-buried memories and emotions, Mona grapples with whether to save her sonthe thiefor the priceless paintings.  

Inspired by a real-life art heist, this world premiere from award-winning composer Jennifer Higdon (Cold Mountain), starring contralto Meredith Arwady, delves into cycles of family trauma and the value of art.  


WATCH: Composer Jennifer Higdon, librettist Jerre Dye, and director Christian Räth talk about the creation of Woman with Eyes Closed in "Opera Walks into a Bar."


Ticket packages of 2+ operas now on sale. Single tickets on sale June 1.

MapPerelman Theater

Dates are Sept. 2020.

Approximately 80 minutes with no intermission

Aurora productions in the Perelman Theater are underwritten, in part, by the Wyncote Foundation at the recommendation of Frederick R. Haas, and by Mr. Allen D. Black and Mr. R. Randolph Apgar.

The commissioning of Jennifer Higdon for Woman with Eyes Closed received funding from OPERA America's Opera Grants for Female Composers program, supported by the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

Cast & Creative Team

Geoffrey McDonald
Geoffrey McDonaldConductor
Christian Räth
Christian Räth *Director
Meredith Arwady
Meredith Arwadyas Mona
Kevin Ray
Kevin Rayas Tomas
Fleur Barron
Fleur Barron *as Museum Curator
Wei Wu
Wei Wuas Inspector
  • Leslie Travers Scenic and Costume Design
  • Thomas C. Hase Lighting Design
  • Christopher Ash * Projection Design
  • *Opera Philadelphia debut
Jennifer Higdon & Jerre Dye

Composer & Librettist

Jennifer Higdon & Jerre Dye

Composer Jennifer Higdon is one of America’s most acclaimed and most frequently performed living composers. Learn more about Jennifer.

Librettist Jerre Dye is a Chicago-based playwright, opera librettist, director and actor. Learn more about Jerre

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