Opus is a new play, being done soon by Theatreworks:

Eliot: “I know what ma non troppo means.”

Alan: “Well that was clearly troppo. It sounds like we’re smothering a baby.”

No, Davis and the other actors don’t really play instruments on stage. But they have worked very hard to make it look as if they are doing so.

“I think it would be the greatest if I could play a violin,” said Davis. “I am very humbled even just to replicate the bowing.”

“We have a fabulous quartet consultant,” said McDonough, “Kris Yenney. She has worked in our orchestra. She put together a recording of a string quartet so the actors can see what it looks like. It’s incredibly intricate. It helps with understanding the soul of how the music works.”

The play, says Davis, is full of “intense moments of living.


I know Kris! Fine cellist, and fun person, too!

Hmmm. Maybe I should check out the play. I’ve attended Theatreworks … I think twice, but maybe it was only once. I know I saw Sondheim there … what the heck was it, though? Let’s see, I’ve seen “Into the Woods” and “Follies” live. I saw a high school production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”, a fabulous UC Irvine production of “Sunday in the Park with George”, and an awful (truly embarrassing) college production of “Merrily We Roll Along”. I’ve played in “Sweeney Todd”, “A Little Night Music” and “Pacific Overtures”. Ramble ramble … oh! It was “Into the Woods”, I believe, that Theatreworks did. And it was great. So maybe I’ll get back there and see this play about musicians. I have to confess, though, that I’m always leery of movies about musicians, and a play might be even more difficult for me to get into. And the “Sex, Drugs and Classical Music” tag doesn’t exactly draw me in. Read that already. (Hi Blair!)

And … here’s Kris!:


  1. Yipes!… Funny to find this (not my favorite video… just noodling and playing a request for mom mostly – after a gig with Celtic Band, Broceliande…)… ANYWAY.. DO see OPUS – and let me know what you think of the depiction of the playing of BARTOK(!) and Late Beethoven, etc. .. . My bad if it doesn’t read… The play and these actors are fascinating and worth catching… Into the Woods :*)… The actor playing second violin in OPUS played the Baker in THeatreWorks’ “Into the Woods” production (I was in the pit :*)….
    I agree that the “SEX, Drugs and… ” tag is not compelling… This is NOT your “Mozart in the Jungle” brand of scandal/intrigue, but does tackle some of the dark side of – well, the humans-collaborating-in-a-passionate-pursuit conditions…

    Thanks for blogging on this, Patty!… I encourage folks – musicians or no – to make it out to this… if ONLY to support Live Theater…. We all need support… I believe this play can do something for Live – especially chamber-Music… OPUS opens this Saturday and runs several weeks.. Wednesdays are cool, as there is a post performance chat with the actors on Wednesdays…. Get your tickets now… Let me know what you think*… CHEERS!… * Kris

  2. Heh … I was happy to find something of you on YouTube, Kris! And noodling is great sometimes, you know?

    Hoping to get to the show. Time will tell. I’m currently finishing up with SSV for the season, so all I can think of until Sunday is making it through the Mahler. After that? Then it’s students for the remainder of June, with nary a gig.

    It’s fun to see (read) you here at oboeinsight. Thanks for commenting! 🙂