A teenage boy is fatally stabbed. Another boy is caught on CCTV leaving the scene. An open-and-shut case, it would seem. But, as Detective Inspector Anne Strawson investigates the older boy’s story, she uncovers a bizarre nexus of chatroom meetings, false identities, fictitious spy rings and raunchy cybersex, leading to just one conclusion: it wasn’t so much murder as suicide by internet.
Loosely inspired by an incredible but true case that happened in the North of England a few years ago, Nico Muhly’s new opera enters the secret world of the teenage bedroom to hit the panic button on the realities and risks of living our lives online.
With a libretto by Craig Lucas, screenwriter of Prelude to a Kiss and Reckless and video design by Fifty Nine Productions, whose work has been a key feature of such recent ENO triumphs as Doctor Atomic and Satyagraha, this new co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, New York, is directed by Tony Award-winner Bartlett Sher, making his UK opera debut.