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Harvey Weinstein Opera Is Now In The Works

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 27 Jun 2021 17:33
Harvey Weinstein Opera Is Now In The WorksPA Images

An opera based on the trial of disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein is reportedly being made.

It’s currently in production in Northern Ireland, and has set its sights on running in New York, according to its creator.

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But first, Conor Mitchell, director of the Belfast Ensemble, the group staging the opera, says rehearsals are due to begin in September, with hopes to perform at October’s Belfast International Arts Festival.

Harvey Weinstein (PA Images)PA Images

‘Belfast is a very politicized place. There is a real tradition here of highly politically-charged subject matter in the plays,’ Mitchell told the New York Post.

Titled The Trial of Harvey Weinstein: An Opera, Mitchell wrote the music for the production and says he’s creating the libretto directly from the testimonies of the six women who testified against Weinstein during his 2020 trial in New York.

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Weinstein was convicted of rape last year, and was sentenced to 23 years behind bars.

Mitchell says the opera won’t be a typical courtroom drama, and there’s no male actor playing Weinstein. ‘In a way, I don’t care about him. I care about the effect of his actions on other people,’ he said.

Mitchell continued:

One of the main arguments of the piece is, ‘Where can music express what is not said here?’

It’s not a representation of court case, but a piece of art that responds to [the women’s] statements. It’s not a physical recreation of events. I think one of the big theatrical experiments is what happens when Harvey Weinstein’s self impact statement is sung by the women who are impacted by his behavior.

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Harvey Weinstein courtroom sketch (PA Images)PA Images

‘This is about taking the words – fragments of the statements, without creating named characters, or representing a person on stage. It’s about the text becoming music,’ Mitchell added.

Hayley Gripp, an actor who accused Weinstein of sexual assault, said she ‘100% would see’ the opera, adding, ‘As a survivor of Harvey Weinstein – I would want to both prepare myself for more potential trauma and make a formal opinion on the production based on facts.’

The attorney who represented three of the women during the trial, Gloria Allred, is also supportive of the opera, as long as ‘they do obtain the consent of the victims whom they plan to portray’.

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The opera isn’t the only production to emerge from the Weinstein trial, as Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan are set to star in a new film as two reporters for The New York Times who first broke the story about the film producer in 2017. The film, titled She Said, currently has no release date, but is expected to arrive in 2022.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Life, Harvey Weinstein, Ireland, New York, Now

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New York Post
  1. New York Post

    A Harvey Weinstein opera may be coming to New York City