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Orchestrating Murder 

Wednesday, Sep 11 2013

"Sometimes, an accident can be an unhappy woman's best friend." This quote comes from Stephen King's 1992 bestseller, Dolores Claiborne. In the story (one of King's few that does not deal with the horror in the supernatural, but rather horror of a different kind), Dolores, a housekeeper in rural Maine who's been accused of murdering the rich woman she works for, confesses to killing her husband who was molesting their daughter. In 1995, the book was made into a movie with Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Now, the San Francisco Opera has commissioned the story of murder, betrayal, and desperation. Poet and librettist J.D. McClatchy, who worked with composer Tobias Pickens on the opera, says the narrative arc of Dolores' life is like one out of Puccini — but with a twist. "When she finally does what she must to save her daughter, her daughter says, 'I never asked you to save me.' That was even more shocking than reconciliation would be," McClatchy says. "It's a really intriguing set of psychological circumstances — both operatic and unconventional."

Wed., Sept. 18, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Sept. 22, 2 p.m.; Wed., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Sept. 28, 8 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 1, 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 4, 8 p.m., 2013

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Emily Wilson

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