Dancer in the Dark at Danish Royal Opera Copenhagen – synosis

Dancer in the Dark at Danish Royal Opera Copenhagen - synosis

Dancer in the Dark at Danish Royal Opera Copenhagen – synosis

Composer and librettist

Music: Poul Ruders. Libretto after Lars von Triers movieskript: Henrik Engelbrecht.


World-premiere at the 5 of September 2010 at Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen.Seen the performance on 13 September 2010 atRoyal Danish Opera in Copenhagen

Selma Jezkova suffers from a hereditary eyedisease and is turning blind. Her son, Gene, has inherited the same disposition. To ensure he receives surgery that can save his sight Selma has moved from Czechoslovakia to the USA where she has found employment as a factory worker to save up for the operation.

Selma has almost lost her sight and finds it difficult to perform her job. She gets through the day by dreaming that she is taking part in a musical. But she is fired when in a moment of distraction she wrecks a machine.

Selmaa lives in a mobile home she has rented from a police officer. Bill, who confides in Selma tells her that his wife has expensive habits and that he is going broke. When he discovers Selma’s savings he attempts to take them from her in a act-of desperation. A scuffle breaks out and Bills gun´goes off and wounds him in the leg. He realize just -how far out his situation is and wants to end his life.But he can’t get himself to do it. He then takes Selma’s money and coerces her into killing him.

Selma is arrested as a murder suspect. She fears that her money will be taken from her and therefore lies in court and claims that the money has been sent to her father in Prague. She has no father but invents one using the name of a Czech actor, who she once saw in a musical when she was young. But the prosecution proves to the court that she is indeed lying and therefore no one believes the rest of her story. She is sentenced to death.

In prison, Selma’s factory colleague, Kathy, begs her to spend her savings on paying for a good attorney, but Selma is determined. The money is to be spent on Gene’s operation. He is to keep his sight, even if it means sacrificing her life. Selma is brought to the execution room, while Kathy tries to console Selma, telling her that Gene has now had his operation.

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