The Long Beach Opera presents the United States debut of Marilyn Forever, an opera based on the life and emotions of screen legend Marilyn Monroe, and adapted from Anyone Can See I Love You, a series of Marilyn Monroe’s interior monologues developed for BBC Radio and later made into a book of poetry by Marilyn Bowering.
Composer Gavin Bryars collaborated with Bowering to bring Marilyn Forever to life. Bryars, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, confessed to being an avid admirer of Marilyn Monroe, and went on his own journey, reflecting on his own perceptions of the movie icon, to find the right sound to reflect the tone of his and Bowering’s collaborative effort. He was also looking to depart from the experience of his other recent projects.
Bryars was looking to compose “a chamber opera, something that was more portable, less clumsy to mount, that could tour around little theaters, with short rehearsals and short runs.”
Marilyn Forever, originally written for one actress to depict Marilyn Monroe, now features two Marilyn Monroe characters, thanks to the vision of Andreas Mitisek, Long Beach Opera’s artistic director. One Marilyn Monroe is portrayed by mezzo soprano Danielle Marcelle Bond, who reflects the inner Marilyn Monroe, while the outer, more public-portrayal of Marilyn Monroe is brought to life by Jamie Chamberlain — symbolizing the duality of the life of Marilyn Monroe.
“Now, I’m obsessed,” said Bond in an interview with The Easy Reader News,“I love her. She’s amazing and charming and beautiful and tragic, and what makes her so special is that she’s so many things to everyone — except herself.”
Marilyn Forever is no raucous musical full of the glitz and glam that became the signature of the Hollywood persona known as Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Forever covers the last years of the life of Marilyn Monroe and features a dark and hazy, dream-like set, with moody music, as the actresses flash back and “relive” the life and memories of Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Forever can be seen at the the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, California, on March 29.
[Image via 1950s Unlimited]