The World Premiere of a short contemporary opera by Lewis Coenen-Rowe and Produced by The Helios Collective in Association with English National Opera

Composer and Librettist | Lewis Coenen-Rowe
Original Short Story | Kate Chopin


Director | Adam Lenson
Set and Costume Design | Alice Simonato
Lighting Design | Ben Pickersgill

Conductor | Noah Mosely
Répétiteur | Robert Allan
Assistant Director | Gareth Mattey


Calixta, Alto | Isabella Cheevers
Bobinot, Baritone | Jolyon Loy
Bibi, Soprano | Laura Monaghan
Alcée, Tenor | Dominic Stewart


Lilian Baylis House, ENO


November 2017


Ella Marchment
Noah Mosely
Robert Harm
Laura Furner



“Kate Chopin’s 1898 short story The Storm was not published until after her death. In all likelihood the narrative’s content was considered too controversial for publication to be possible at the time. In short, the story is about a woman, Calixta, who has an extramarital affair under the cover of an unexpected storm. And then… nothing happens. 

“This operatic adaptation seeks to be as faithful as possible to Chopin’s tale, while allowing it to take on a new light through the medium of music and staging, and through the perspective of twenty-first-century audiences. The script uses a combination of Chopin’s idiosyncratic handling of the Louisiana bayou dialect – a melting pot of Deep South slang, flavoured with a liberal helping of colloquial French and her rich and highly symbolic descriptive writing. The characters mainly converse as we would expect them to, but occasionally step outside of themselves to comment on the action from the perspective of an author.”

“The Storm may have been defined by controversy, but it is not limited to that. Like a bolt of lightning, it shocks but also illuminates. From a modern-day perspective, it emerges as a highly perceptive moral critique, as well as a warm and generous human drama. This operatic adaptation treats Chopin’s story not simply as a historical document, but also as a tale that still demands attention today, a rumble of thunder that refuses to die away.”