Missy Mazzoli’s ‘Breaking the Waves’ Wins Historic Award

By David Salazar

Missy Mazzoli’s opera “Breaking the Waves” has been a hit over the last year and now it has been recognized by the Music Critics Association of North America with the Best New Opera Award.

This is actually the first time the organization awards this very accolade. Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek will both be honored on July 19 at the MCANA Annual Meeting in Santa Fe.

The opera received its world premiere on Sept. 22, 2016 at Opera Philadelphia and Beth Morrison Projects and has been seen as one of the great modern operas. The work was based on the famed Lars von Trier film of the same name.

“It’s thrilling to be recognized by five critics I read regularly and respect mightily, and moving to know that ‘Breaking the Waves’ stood out in a year full of fantastic new operas,” said Mazzoli in a press release after receiving the announcement.

Writing ‘Breaking the Waves’ has truly been a dream come true – it’s a libretto that erupted straight from my heart, based on a story that has clung to my imagination since seeing Lars von Trier’s film at the age of fourteen,” added Vavrek. “Collaborating with Missy is one of the great joys of my life, and I thank Opera Philadelphia, Beth Morrison Projects and the rest of our artistic family for their belief in our work, and to MCANA for this incredible recognition.”