The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, based on Rainier Werner Fassbinder's play and the 1972 movie of the same name, is currently being written by Irish composer Gerald Barry and is scheduled to premiere in Dublin in May 2005. It is the story of an arrogant fashion designer, already in a sadistic relationship with her passive assistant, who finds herself involved with an aspiring model and becoming increasingly obsessed, irrational, and jealous.
This unconventional work will kick off the first season to be fully programmed by Sešn Doran, the ENO's artistic director and chief executive since 2003. He intends the work, he told The Guardian, to make a bold statement about his intentions for the company.
Doran, who came to the ENO from the Perth International Arts Festival, has committed himself to producing two premieres every season. The second work in the 2005-06 season will be a work about Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi, commissioned by the hip hop collective Asian Dub Foundation.