Scene 2: Four Sea Interludes, Op. 33a IV: Storm by Benjamin Britten
Cleveland Play House
Aurora's mother, a seamstress, has sent her to deliver a dress to the queen. But then, a sudden storm disrupts the fairy tale. An eight-member chorus of nonspeaking actors portrays the waves, and Aurora is swept up. "Where we thought we are going gets completely changed and thrown off course by the storm," says Kepley.
As the storm crests, the orchestra plays as the acting pauses. "It's as though you were unconscious, immediately regained consciousness and then were in the middle of a hurricane. It's the middle of this enormous crash," says Mitchell. "It's just utter chaos — unbelievably musical chaos."
Scene 3: Shaker Loops I: Shaking and Trembling by John Adams
Aurora pulls herself out of the water. Repurposing the dress and other debris, she assembles a boat using skills she learned growing up in a fishermen's village. "Aurora is able to build both on the sewing skills her mother gave her," Kepley says, "but also all those hours that she spent observing the fishermen now come in handy and, in fact, help her to survive."
After constructing her boat, Aurora sets sail. As she heads to sea, attention shifts to the orchestra again. This time, Adams' light, strings-heavy music exudes serenity, a departure from Britten's full orchestration that clanged through in the last scene. "It's such a jarring juxtaposition that it really does feel like you're in a new world," says Mitchell.