New musical in the works for Denmark theater

Denmark’s Royal Theater has commissioned a new opera based on Lars von Trier’s 2000 film, “Dancer in the Dark.”

Poul Ruders, a leading Danish composer, will write the music for the work, while the libretto, in English, will be written by Henrik Engelbrecht, head of dramaturgy at the theater.

Swedish soprano Ylva Kihlberg is set to sing the role of leading character Selma when the opera premieres during the 2010-2011 season, the theater announced Thursday.

Von Trier’s movie, which won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, starred Bjork and Catherine Deneuve.

Bjork played the role of a Czech immigrant factory worker in the United States who becomes blind because of a congenital disease and tries to save money for an operation to avoid the same fate for her 12-year-old son.

Von Trier also directed “Breaking the Waves” and “Dogville.”

He said in a recent interview that a period of depression had left him unable to work, and he expressed doubts about when he will return to filmmaking.

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