5 Scariest Operas

Categories: Opera

Horror opera is probably not a term you're overly familiar with, unless you're one of those people that flocked to watch Paris Hilton's face fall off in Repo. You should be, by the way, because that was awesome. Repo started out as a ten-minute operetta called the Necromerchant's Debt that eventually progressed into the spectacle it ultimately became, but what about regular, stodgy opera. Can that be horrifying?

The answer is yes, there have been a few operas that can easily be classified as a horror tales, and some of them are damned frightening to watch. Most of these were adaptations from better known film and literature works, but not always. If you'd like a little fright in your high art evening, then here's five that can provide it.

5. Children in the Mist: The Mist is a Stephen King novella that is one of the most soul-crushingly scary things ever put on paper, even for a master of such things. Sean Pflueger decided to take the tale of humanity under siege from eldritch horrors hiding in a mysterious, all-consuming mist and set it to music earlier this year in Washington DC. The production was fairly low budget, and ironically featured no mist, but was fairly well received. A compelling score and clever use of darkness to build fear of the unknown, lurking abominations overshadowed an execution that was unintentionally funny at times.

4. Evenings in Quarantine: According to a highly scientific and not at all satirical or completely made up study, Pittsburgh is woefully unprepared for the day the dead rise to feast on the living. Well, you can't blame that on Bonnie Bogovich and Elizabeth Rishel, who produced a highly innovative attempt to zombify opera with Quarantine. Using pre-shot footage of the city under undead siege as a backdrop, three actors sing their way through evading ghouls in hopes of reaching safety. Though there was a great deal of focus on light-hearted modernism, the expertly shot footage was full of amazing scares and very good looking Zs that made up in the shivers department.

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