One of the year’s most highly anticipated events on the local cultural calendar begins Friday (July 20) as Cincinnati Opera presents the U.S. premiere of Another Brick in the Wall at Music Hall, with an original score adapted from Pink Floyd’s 1979 classic Rock album The Wall. Last year’s world premiere by Opera Montreal sold out 10 performances, garnered international coverage and led to Cincinnati Opera signing on as a co-producer. There will be five 7:30 p.m. performances here through July 31.
“Adapted from” — those are key words. Another Brick in the Wall is not a note-for-note transcription of the music written by Pink Floyd’s bassist/vocalist/songwriter Roger Waters, although the lyrics are all there. The operatic version is by Canadian composer Julien Bilodeau and incorporates themes from the iconic album for a large orchestra, minus electric guitars and percussion.
The burned-out and alienated Rock star named Pink who dominates the album’s narrative now shares the stage with seven other singers portraying the characters in his life. The 51-member chorus has a huge role, and 21 non-speaking, non-singing extras fill the stage; 64 Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra musicians play the score live.
And the staging itself incorporates the high-tech production values of a pricey Rock concert and Cirque du Soleil.
Another Brick in the Wall is presented by Cincinnati Opera for five 7:30 p.m. performances between Friday (July 20) and July 31 at Music Hall (1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine). Tickets: cincinnatiopera.org.