Michigan Opera Theatre to Present 12-Hour ‘Bliss’

By David Salazar

Michigan Opera Theatre is set to open the Michigan Building Theatre with Ragnar Kjartansson’s “Bliss” on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021.

The 12-hour performance piece, which is being staged in a production by Yuval Sharon, will feature Corey Mckern (Count Almaviva), Nicole Joseph (Countess Almaviva), Grace Wipfli (Susanna), Robert Wesley Mason (Figaro), Jennifer Cresswell (Cherubino), Diane Rae Schoff (Marcellina), Tyrese Byrd (Don Basilio), Lucia Helgren (Barbarina), and Jake Surzyn (Antonio) as they perform a three minute excerpt from Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” on loop. The scene in question is the opera’s grand finale when the Count asks for the Countess’ forgiveness.

Audience members will be invited to attend the performance for as long as they like.

“Detroit’s motto is ‘Speramus meliora/Resurget cineribus,’ which translates to ‘We hope for better things/It will rise from the ashes,'” Sharon stated in a press release. “It was adopted in a literal sense after a major fire swept through the city, but speaks just as well to our current moment—a time when people in Detroit are looking at the city’s past, and imagining a new future that isn’t just prosperous for a select few, but just and equitable for all. With ‘Bliss,’ we invite the community to come together and, in the spirit of forgiveness and understanding, find common ground—not only to imagine that future, but to build it together.”

The production represents the first live performance at the venue since its conversion to a parking garage.