BMP is an organization that seeks to tell the stories of our time. With each new work we commission, we ask the key question "why this story, why now?" We process and digest hard truths about ourselves and the world through the works we bring to the stage. The nation is grappling with questions of how to rise up against systemic racism, brutality, and oppression. 


We stand with our Black colleagues, friends, audiences, artists, and all those who have experienced the vicious history of racism in this country. We stand with those who give voice to the many whose voices have been taken far too soon. And we are looking inwards, asking how we can support those voices in the best way we know -- by giving them a platform through the art we create. While our stages are dark, we must use this moment to ensure that once they reopen, the answer to the question "why this story, why now" is made clear. 

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love fail is an evening-length theater work from Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Sung by the genre bending QUINCE CONTEMPORARY VOCAL ENSEMBLE, love fail is a tour de force of storytelling, weaving together snippets of medieval courtly love narratives, short stories by MacArthur Fellowship Award-winning author Lydia Davis, scraps from the libretto of Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde, and text by Lang himself. Out of these sources, Lang has conjured a single story in which two unnamed lovers meet each other, love each other, and lose each other - not necessarily in that order.

Learn more about the work here and watch the entire piece below.

We share this work with gratitude to the extraordinary artists who worked on this piece. They have given permission for us to share this recording free of charge. 

If you are in a position to help BMP move forward, please consider making a tax deductible donation today by clicking here.

love fail

Composed and Directed by David Lang

Stories by Lydia Davis

Words by David Lang after Marie de France, Gottfried von Strassburg, Sir Thomas Malory,
Beroul, Thomas of Britain, Beatriz de Dia and Richard Wagner

Performed by Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble:

Elizabeth Pearse, Kayleigh Butcher, Amanda DeBoer Bartlett, Carrie Henneman Shaw


Set and Video Design, Jim Findlay

Lighting Design, Jennifer Tipton

Sound Design, Jody Elff

Costume Design, Suzanne Bocanegra


Stage Manager, Jason Kaiser

Video Engineer, Josh Higgason

Associate Lighting Designer, Oliver Wason

Produced by Beth Morrison Projects


Commissioned by Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2012 Next Wave Festival,The International Festival of Arts & Ideas,

The John F. Kennedy Center Abe Fortas Memorial Fund, The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA

Wake Forest University / Secrest Artists Series and Hancher Performances at the University of Iowa


love fail was filmed at the CODES Festival of Traditional and Avant-Garde Music in Lublin, Poland. 

love fail made its world premiere June 2012 at The International Festival of Arts & Ideas with support from Yale Repertory Theatre




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 Tel: 646.682.7181

© 2020 Beth Morrison Projects

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