Miami performances are at the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami.

Fort Lauderdale performances are at the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW 5th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.

Arsht Ziff BOH seat map

Broward Au-Rene seat map

Children must be at least six years old to attend.

Mourning Becomes Electra


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Trio: “How Death Becomes the Mannons”
Duet: “What Can You Say, What Would You Ask Me to Believe”

Marvin David Levy
Libretto by Henry Butler after Eugene O’Neill’s play cycle

“It’s got everything you’d want from an opera...and more. The music knocks you out with its ferocity.”

―Marvin David Levy

Based on the play cycle by Eugene O’Neill, this mythic tale is set in Massachusetts shortly after the Civil War. Beneath the veneer of the prim and proper Mannon family are seething passions of bitterness, infidelity, incest, and even murder. Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein called Marvin David Levy’s opera “a tremendous achievement, a remarkable work!” Come see why this opera received a 25-minute standing ovation on opening night at the Metropolitan Opera in 1967.


Christine Mannon
Lauren Flanigan

Lavinia Mannon
Rayanne Dupuis [debut]

Adam Brant
Morgan Smith [debut]

Orin Mannon
Keith Phares [debut]

General Ezra Mannon
Kevin Langan

Helen Niles
Riley Svatos [debut]

Peter Niles
Thomas Lehman [debut]

Nelson Martinez [debut]

Ramón Tebar

Stage Director
Kevin Newbury [debut]

Florida Grand Opera

Sung in English with English and Spanish projected titles.
Approximate running time is two hours and fifty minutes.
Pre-opera lecture one hour before every performance.
Post-opera talk back following every performance.

Photo © by Rosarii Lynch for Seattle Opera


Act One
Christine Mannon awaits Adam Brant, the sea captain with whom she fell in love in the absence of her husband, General Ezra Mannon. Lavinia Mannon, their daughter, having discovered her mother’s affair, warns that her father is returning from the Civil War that night. Lavinia learns from Jed, an old servant, that Adam is the bastard son of her father’s late brother and a servant girl. Both died cursing the Mannons for cutting them off from the family. Lavinia, herself infatuated with Adam, believes his liaison with Christine is prompted by revenge. When confronted with Lavinia’s suspicions, Christine admits the truth. Adam gives Christine a vial of poison she asked for and rushes away. Ezra is welcomed home by townspeople, neighbor Peter Niles (who has been courting Lavinia), and Peter’s sister Helen (in love with Lavinia’s brother Orin). Ezra sees Christine in a window and rushes into the house, leaving Lavinia resentful. Ezra begs Christine’s forgiveness for the cold marriage he has given her. Now he hopes for a new beginning. When Christine tells him it is too late, he accuses her of wishing him dead. This provokes her into revealing her love for his bastard nephew. The furious Ezra is suddenly seized by pain. He calls for his medicine, but Christine substitutes the poison. Ezra cries out for Lavinia, who hears his last words accusing Christine.

Act Two
Lavinia ushers her brother Orin into the parlor and tries to ally him with her against Adam. Christine begs Orin to trust her, but he warns that if Adam comes there he will kill him. Lavinia puts the vial of poison on Ezra’s body, and then tells Orin to let their mother in. Christine screams when she sees the poison. Lavinia rushes Orin away as Christine begs God to punish her but spare Adam. On the deck of his ship, Adam, enslaved by his love for Christine, bids farewell to the sea. When Christine arrives, Adam leads her to the cabin below. Lavinia and Orin, who have followed her, spy on the couple. Christine tells Adam that Lavinia knows about the murder. Adam agrees to flee with Christine in a few days. As he escorts her off the ship, Lavinia and Orin slip down into the cabin. When Adam returns, they murder him. Outside the house at dawn, Christine hears Orin exclaim that he has killed Adam. On the brink of madness, Christine imagines herself in Adam’s arms and rushes into the house. When a pistol shot is heard, Lavinia proclaims that justice has been done.

Act Three
Lavinia returns home from a year long trip with Orin. She reminds him that they traveled to forget the past. After Peter and Helen welcome them home, Orin takes Helen aside to speak privately. Peter is overwhelmed by Lavinia’s new beauty, and announces to Orin that Lavinia has agreed to marry him. Helen, now clutching an envelope containing a manuscript Orin has entrusted to her, asks Lavinia’s help in saving him from himself. Lavinia recovers the envelope and Orin, defeated, dismisses Helen. He tells Lavinia he has written a history of the Mannon crimes. He dreads the thought of losing her, to the point of threatening legal punishment to keep her bound to him. Finally crossing the boundary of sanity, he attempts to make love to her. Horrified, Lavinia commands that he die and set her free. He locks himself in the study and shoots himself. Peter assures Lavinia that they will soon marry and leave the town forever. She desperately embraces him, but inadvertently calls him “Adam.” Peter now understands that she always loved Adam, that Orin had tried to tell him, and tried to warn Helen of the family’s dark secrets. Lavinia sends Peter away and asks Jed to close the shutters of the house. Summoning the family ghosts to welcome her, she seals herself in the Mannon “tomb.”

© 2013 Florida Grand Opera

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