Thursday, October 28, 2021

Life & Style

Operatic Double Header to be Staged at “Grave House Asylum”


Allison Waggener stars as Sister Angelica in Suor Angelica, leading an all-female cast of 13. Photo courtesy of Madison Lyric Stage

Allison Waggener stars as Sister Angelica in Suor Angelica, leading an all-female cast of 13. (Photo courtesy of Madison Lyric Stage)

As the final production of its 2021 mainstage season, Madison Lyric Stage, a professional theater company serving the Connecticut shoreline and the Connecticut River valley, will present Puccini’s beloved opera Suor Angelica for eight performances from Sept. 9 to 19, outdoors under a large tent on the grounds of Madison’s Deacon John Grave House.

The evening will open with Schoenberg’s Erwartung, and will be set within the confines of the “Grave House Asylum” run by the fictional Sisters of Mercy.

By pairing these operatic pieces, the performance will delve into the individual stories of two women, each thrust into the mental health system of Europe in the year 1909. The evening will explore the dire consequences these two women separately faced when they rejected the social mores of their time.

“By pairing these two works and setting them within an asylum, we hope to call attention to mental health issues. Even though perceptions of mental illness were quite different at the time these pieces were composed, there are still lessons to be learned today about human cruelty, either intentional or through careless negligence,” says Marc Deaton, artistic director of Madison Lyric Stage.

Suor Angelica will be performed in Italian with English supertitles; Erwartung will be performed in English, in a translation by Marc Deaton.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased by visiting or by calling 203-215-6329. The Deacon John Grave House is located at 581 Boston Post Road in Madison.

For more information about Madison Lyric Stage, visit

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