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Happily Never After

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Written in 1971, three years before her death by suicide, Transformations is a departure from the confessional style for which Anne Sexton is known. The cycle of poem-tales shatters and reinterprets sixteen Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales—rich material for this poet of terror and ruthlessness. Yet Transformations is also surprisingly conversational, intimate and light, qualities the classical composer Conrad Susa expanded upon when putting Sexton’s poems to music: He called the piece “an entertainment.” Sexton attended the opera’s 1973 premiere and reportedly loved it, replaying the recording repeatedly. Transformations has since become one of the most performed American chamber operas, and now comes to the Metropolitan Ensemble Theater (3604 Main), performed by Civic Opera Theater under the direction of Linda Ade Brand. The enchantment lasts one weekend only: Experience it tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and at 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15. Call 816-569-3226 or see kccivicopera.org.
Fri., March 11, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., March 12, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., March 13, 3 p.m., 2011

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