The Cave: A Folk Opera

daughters of elysium · Ages 21+ · world premiere · United States

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June 15, 2014 stage raw and la bitter lemons original article

My overall impression

If you love or appreciate lyrical folk music you will not be disappointed in Melanie Rose Thomas’s hauntingly beautiful folk opera. Inspired by Beauty and the Beast and the Persephone myth, the opera depicts the trials of a daughter who signs over her soul to save her opium-addict father. Once you enter The Cave, there’s no going back to the outside world.

Bianca Gisselle who plays our protagonist Willow has one of the most beautiful, sultry and dynamic voices. Her leading man The Master (William Max Schneidermann) equally has a beautiful and powerful voice. The ensemble and two-man band do well for creating the dank and dark atmosphere. Although the story wanes about two-thirds of the way through, the music is so intoxicating that it keeps you invested.

For such a young lyricist and composer, I’m excited to see how Melanie Rose Thomas develops and evolves. The Cave just for the music alone is well worth the listen.

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