Les Enfants Terribles

Music by Philip Glass

Philip Glass’s hypnotic meditation on youth receives a powerful, dance-driven production by director James Darrah and conducted by Christopher Rountree.  

About the Opera 

Long Beach Opera continues its commitment to the operas of Philip Glass with Les Enfants Terribles (1996)the final piece of his trilogy based on the works of Jean Cocteau. James Darrah’s powerful and physically demanding production, originally seen at The One Festival at Opera Omaha, sheds new light on the piece’s conception as a dance opera. Glass himself adapted Cocteau’s novel into a libretto, which tells the story of two orphaned children who live in dangerous isolation from the outside world. Glass’s kinetic score, set for three overlapping pianos, transforms the original story into a hypnotic meditation on youth’s transience and its tragic illusion of eternity.  

LBO Artistic Director James Darrah has adapted his original production to adhere to covid safety protocols, and the performance will take place on the roof of a parking garage attached to a shopping center. The production will be a drive-in style performance, with the performers utilizing the entire structure as a performance area. In addition to the live action, there will be multiple video screens throughout the space on which the action is projected, and guests can enjoy the audio either through their FM radios in their vehicles, or through ambient sound amplified throughout the space. Whether remaining inside vehicles or taking in the opera "tailgate style" in the open air, every audience member will have a unique experience with this immersive solution to safety protocols that remains artistically innovative.

“Choreographer Gustavo Ramirez Sansano and Darrah achieved an optimal blend of dance and theater that elevated Glass’s opera to a level of clarity and meaning that will undoubtedly enkindle a passion for opera in those in the audience who were new to genre and renew the excitement of those already enthralled.” Opera News

Philip Glass

American composer, Philip Glass, was born 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland where he began collecting records from his father's record store including modern music and western classical music.  At the young age 15, Glass was accepted into an accelerated college program at the University of Chicago studying Mathematics and Philsophy. Glass discovered surealism in Chicago and a few years later attended the Julliard School of Music where he studied keyboard and composition. Now a composer of operas and symphones he has collaborated with artists such as Twyla Tharp, Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen and David Bowie. Along with his popular operas Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, Akhnaten, and The Voyage he has also composed for theater and motion pictures including The Hours, Kindun, and Koyaanisqatsi. Glass has described that his music has "immersed a listener in a sort of sonic weather that twists, turns, surrounds, develops". Considered one of the most influential music makers of the late 20th century Glass has composed over 25 operas, 8 symphonies and two piano concertos.



  • Orson Van Gay - Gerard
  • Edward Nelson - Paul
  • Anna Schubert - Elisabeth
  • Sarah Beaty - Argelos / Agathe


  • Shauna Davis
  • Samantha Mohr
  • Maleek Washington
  • Joe Davis

Artistic Team

  • James Darrah - Director
  • Chistopher Rountree - Conductor
  • Chris Emile - Choreographer
  • Yuki Izumihara - Scenic Designer
  • Camille Assaf - Costume Designer
  • Dan Weingarten - Lighting Designer
  • Benjamin Mass - Sound Designer
  • Adam Larsen - Projection Designer


  • The One Festival at Opera Omaha

National Endowement for the Arts    California Arts Council Arts Council for Long Beach City of Long Beach Art Works Opera America KUSC

This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at cac.ca.gov
Supported in part by a grant from the Arts Council for Long Beach and the City of Long Beach.
Long Beach Opera events are supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission