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Émilie is a modern one-singer opera about French Enlightenment thinker Émilie du Châtelet. Émilie was many things: the brilliant physicist who first defined kinetic energy; mistress to Voltaire; prodigious mathematician and translator of Newton’s Principia Mathematica; author of a treatise on the happiness of women; pioneer of what are now called financial derivatives - all achieved before she died in childbirth in 1749, when she was 42. The video content was created using pages from her original journals, which we were granted access to by the Morgan Chase Library.


Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC USA

May 2011

Lincoln Center Festival, NYC

July 2012

Finnish National Opera

April 2015


Composer Kaija Saariaho
Director Marianne Weems
Scenic Design Neal Wilkinson
Video Design Austin Switser
Lighting Design Allen Hahn
Sound Design Dan Dobson
Costume Design Claudia Stephens
Associate Projection Jesse Garrison

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