Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw brings her complex, layered sound world to the Opera Philadelphia Channel with We Need to Talk, based on a poem by celebrated poet Anne Carson. Soprano Ariadne Greif stars as a young woman in conversation with herself, reminiscent of our isolated days of quarantine: days of frustration, joy, and grief. This conversation occurs between Greif—praised for her "luminous, expressive voice" (New York Times)—and a choral track featuring Shaw’s own voice and a recitation of the poem by Carson herself.
Poem reprinted by permission of Anne Carson and Aragi Inc. All rights reserved.
The new film, by award-winning director Maureen Towey and Philadelphia-based Four/Ten Media, creates an environment filled with tension and energy, amplified by Shaw’s inclusion of electronic composition and sampling of old film scores. We Need to Talk challenges conventional notions about the definition of opera— while rooted in the hallmark of the operatic form: strong musical storytelling—making it an ideal fourth and final installment of the Digital Commissions Series.