This Sept. 18, 2018 photo released by Opera Philadelphia, Mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson, left, and Frederica von Stade in the new opera "Sky on Swings" premiering as part of Opera Philadelphia's O18 Festival. (Dominic M. Mercier/Opera Philadelphia via AP)

Alzheimer's opera 'Sky on Swings' opens in Philadelphia

September 21, 2018 - 12:51 pm

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — "Sky on Swings," a 78-minute chamber work about two women declining from Alzheimer's disease, was given its world premiere by Opera Philadelphia for the first night of its season-opening O18 festival.

Frederica von Stade, a celebrated 73-year-old mezzo-soprano, teamed with 59-year-old mezzo Marietta Simpson in the work by composer Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch.

The crowd at the Kimmel Center's 550-seat Perelman Theater gave the cast and creative team a standing ovation.

There are four more performances through Sept. 29.