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Nico Muhly

L.A. Opera lets Ingmar Bergman's film 'Persona' sing

L.A. Opera lets Ingmar Bergman's film 'Persona' sing

Ingmar Bergman’s classic 1966 film, “Persona,” begins with a grimly unsettling photomontage that includes the slaughter of lamb. It is accompanied by avant-garde Swedish composer Lars Johan Werle’s intentionally alienating score. This introduces not the film’s two startling characters, a catatonic celebrated actress who refuses to speak and her impressionable nurse who doesn’t shut up, but a state of mind.

More to the point, it sets the psychological stage for a uniquely cinematic investigation of the state of two minds becoming one.

Keeril Makan’s “Persona,” an opera that had its premiere two years ago in a small alternative space in Brooklyn and which opened Thursday...

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