Editor’s note: Photos from the dress rehearsal were provided by the Eastman School of Music

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — “Lear on the 2nd Floor” is an opera that was written by Pultizer Prize-winning Anthony Davis. The Eastman School of Music production that is running Sunday features two casts, is directed by Steven Daigle, and is conducted by Timothy Long.

Opening night was Thursday. There will be 730 p.m. performances Friday and Saturday, as well as 2 p.m. Sunday matinee. All tickets are $20 at the door.

This is the second run of performances ever for the opera. It follows “Dr. Nora Lear” as she tries to deliver a speech while dealing with Alzheimer’s. The opera features a wide of musical styles — from jazz, to classical, and atonal music — and borrows themes from Shakespeare’s “King Lear.”

Long says that you don’t have to know the plot of the Shakespeare classic — which follows the mythical king towards the end of his reign and his relationship with his daughter — to understand this show.

The school says “the opera is comprised of vignettes — fragmented to mimic the experience of having Alzheimer’s —tracking the period from Nora’s diagnosis to a breakdown over the loss of control in her own life to an eventual surrender to what she has become.”

“What I love about is it’s almost meditations on Lear’s mind, both Nora and King Lear,” Long said. “So we get this sense of what’s going on inside her head as opposed to what’s going on in the world.”

Long recounted his own journey with his own mother, who is 89 and has dementia. He hopes that the audience can walk away with a sense of empathy while seeing Nora on stage.

“There’s someone on stage that everyone can connect to, whether it’s seeing you or a loved one in what Nora is struggling with,” said Gwen Paker, a second-year masters student at Eastman. She is playing Nora in one of the two casts. “I really hope that people can feel that sense of connection with us.”