by Benjamin Britten and Robert Lowell
based on Jean Racine’s 1677 play Phèdre

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“How shall I hide my thick, adulterous passion for this youth, who has rejected me, and knows the truth?”

Phaedra staggers under Aphrodite’s heavy curse. Wife to Theseus, she burns for his son Hippolytus. But he rejects her and in her blind passion she destroys him–and herself as well.  A staged performance of Britten’s solo cantata for mezzo soprano, imagined and performed by Judith Barnes, accompanied by chamber ensemble.

June 10, 2017, 8:00pm
St. Paul’s Theater
334 South 5th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Admission with reservation ($17 suggested donation at the door): CLICK HERE FOR RESERVATIONS

Judith Barnes, performer and director
Doug Han, piano
Charlotte Nicholas, violin
Brian Sanders, cello
Irena Romendik, costume design

This performance is on a shared bill with LEIMAY 2016-2017 Fellows Nicolas Noreña + Michelle Uranowitz + Timothy Scott and Terra Incognita Theater, and Vertical Player Repertory.

Presented as part of  SOAK, an annual deluge of acts and workshops in theater, butoh, dance, and performance art, developed by LEIMAY at their Brooklyn home CAVE. (Please note that the performance will not take place at CAVE but at St. Paul’s Church listed above.) From LEIMAY’s website: “SOAK broadens the perceptions of artists and audiences with work that is experimental, rigorous, and thought-provoking.” wrote of Judith Barnes’ performance of Phaedra as part of VPR’s Playthings of the Gods series: “Mezzo Judith Barnes shone in her performance of Britten’s Phaedra, vocally and dramatically present in every moment in the 16-minute scena.”

Phaedra is a featured event of the New York Opera Fest, a city-wide festival of opera in May and June, with over 20 companies putting on more than 30 events in venues around the city. The Opera Fest is organized by the New York Opera Alliance, in partnership with OPERA America, the national service organization for opera. For more information and a full listing, visit:

photo credit: Claudia Mann