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David Lang bases his 'Prisoner of the State' opera on Beethoven's 'Fidelio / New York Post

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In all its 177 years, the New York Philharmonic never conducted business with a prison-supply store - until now. For the concert opera "Prisoner of the State," Lincoln Center's David Geffen Hall has turned into, well, a prison, with barbed-wire fencing, industrial ladders and surveillance cameras around the stage, and the singers wearing orange jumpsuits. "We went to Bob Barker, ‘America's leading detention supplier,' for the jumpsuits, socks and shoes," orchestra president and CEO Deborah Borda tells The Post. And, happily enough, "prison attire isn't that expensive!"

Composer David Lang based his work on Beethoven's "Fidelio," about a woman who dresses as a jail guard to spring her political-prisoner husband from the slammer. Elkhanah Pulitzer, the director (and great-great-granddaughter of publisher Joseph Pulitzer), is staging it realistically, with a cage-like structure that hovers over the stage, above the musicians' heads. "They've been incredibly supportive," she says.

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