Stephanie Blythe as Blythely Oratonio. Photo by Dominic M. Mercier
Presented by Boston Lyric Opera Directed by John Jarboe Music direction & arrangements by Daniel Kazemi Cowritten by John Jarboe & Stephanie Blythe Blythely, flower, costumes and throne designed by Machine Dazzle with Rebecca Kanach Original sound design by Dan Perelstein Jaquette
May 6, 2022 at 7:30 PM Royal Boston 279 Tremont St Boston, MA 02116
Review by Kitty Drexel
BOSTON, Mass. — Opera is not dead. Opera has the potential to thrive in these interesting times. Stephanie Blythe ushers in its new dawn as Blythely Oratonio, a drag king with a most ostentatious countenance, in Blythely Ever After. Opera, the culture, need only evolve with its denizens to survive.
Drag queen Sapphira Cristál, she of the six-octave range, opened the concert in a stately purple taffeta robe with “Dich Teure Halle” from Wagner’s Tannhäuser.She sang live but she was so pitch-perfect that she sounded recorded. This aria sounds as good sung by a queen if not better than it does by a princess soprano.Continue reading →
The morning after. Lucretia (Kelley O’Connor, kneeling) and Bianca (Margaret Lattimore,). Photo by Liza Voll.
Presented by Boston Lyric Opera Music by Benjamin Britten Libretto by Ronald Duncan After the play by Andre Obey Music direction by David Angus Stage direction by Sarna Lapine Dramaturgy by John Conklin Movement/intimacy direction by Yury Yanowsky
(Boston, MA) The Rape of Lucretia is about how a sexual assault turned into a war. It’s a timely message… But it’s always been a timely message. Women die at the hands of their abusers everyday. They will continue to do so until society values the lives of women as much as it does power. Boston Lyric Opera partners with Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and Casa Myrna to discuss Britten’s opera about rape and politics. Continue reading →
Acclaimed actress Paula Plum directs a cast of Boston-area singers and actors this week to explore the myth of Lucretia, the ancient Roman woman whose cruel sexual violation brought down an empire, and whose story has been retold for centuries by poets, playwrights and painters. The free public event, “Reclaiming Lucretia: Responding to Sexual Violence through Music, Poetry and Story,” takes place Thursday, February 7 at 6 pm at District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue in the Boston Seaport. RSVPs are encouraged at BLO.org/calendar.
“Reclaiming Lucretia” is produced by Boston Lyric Opera in advance of its production of Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece opera, “The Rape of Lucretia,” which runs March 11-17, 2019.
Plum helms a fascinating one-hour look at the Lucretia story through the Britten’s music, the poetry of William Shakespeare, and the words of contemporary sexual assault survivors. Plum weaves together song, spoken word and theatrical interpretation with a cast that includes: well-known Boston-area actors Aimee Doherty and Ed Hoopman; local singers Brianna Robinson (BLO’s newest Emerging Artist) and Jesse Darden (BLO’s first Principal Artist-in-Residence); returning mezzo-soprano Renee Tatum (seen in The Metropolitan Opera’s 2018 production of “Marnie” and as Jenny in BLO’s 2018 “The Threepenny Opera”); Longmeadow, Mass.-native and baritone David Tinerva; and pianist and Boston University lecturer Douglas Sumi.
The event is followed by an audience question-and-answer session with cast members, reflections from a representative of Boston Area Rape Crisis Center — which along with domestic violence support organization Casa Myrna is collaborating with BLO to bring context, support and contemporary perspective to content in “The Rape of Lucretia” — and a post-event reception.
Reclaiming Lucretia: Responding to Sexual Violence through Music, Poetry, and Story Thursday, February 7, 2019 | 6:00pm District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue, Boston Seaport Free; RSVPs encouraged
Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Score by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Conductor David Angus
Stage Director Rosetta Cucchi
October 12 – 21, 2018
Emerson Cutler Majestic Theater
219 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02116
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Review by Diana Lu (Boston, MA) The Barber of Seville, or The Useless Precaution, remains one of the most well-known pieces of classical music in the modern world, and for good reason. The score sparkles and gambols, flickering from one indelible motif to the next. The libretto tells the universally appealing story of youth counterculture fighting for love and sticking it to the man. Continue reading →
Presented by Boston Lyric Opera Music by Kurt Weill Libretto by Bertolt Brecht English translation by Michael Feingold Original German text based on Elisabeth Hauptmann’s German Translation of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera Conducted by David Angus Stage directed by James Darrah
(Boston, MA) 3Penny is not your Daddy’s stodgy traditional opera. Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht were communist rabble rousers hell-bent on challenging the operatic form. They were freedom fighters rebelling against the Nazis through theatre. A stalwart Marxist, Brecht wanted to destroy opera’s association with the bourgeoisie. Weill believed opera could belong to the proletariat if given the opportunity. Both would have appreciated the BLO’s production of The Threepenny Opera. Opera purists would not. Continue reading →
(Boston, MA) A 1950’s-style screwball comedy proves its compatibility with a comic opera from 1786 in this brilliant production. It’s layered, creating the idea of a show-within-a-show as stage hands help along the action, feeling like Kiss Me Kate with Mozart as source material rather than Shakespeare. With the help of charming, self-aware direction from Rosetta Cucchi and conductor David Angus, the story of two servants who outwit the wandering eye of a less-than-noble nobleman feels universal, familiar, and luminescent. Continue reading →
(Boston, MA) So, okay, say you know this girl, right? More of a “broad,” maybe—flirts with the boys but won’t take shit from them, never lies to appease some dude’s ego, takes lovers and throws them away with ease. Say she gets in a tough situation—but it’s hard to say what’s tough for her, really, she’s not from a great background. But she’s in this situation, right? And it’s either go to prison or go home at the end of a long work day at the cigarette factory. So she flirts some with the poor, idiot small town officer that has her captive. Naïve guy, sweet enough. Continue reading →
Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Conducted by David Angus
Stage Directed by Emma Griffin
Fight direction by Andrew Kenneth Moss
BLO Concertmaster: Sandra Kott
BLO Chorusmaster: Michelle Alexander
(Boston, MA) Opera singers are gifts that keep on giving. Along with my usual attendance of BLO’s Don Giovanni, I had the pleasure of experiencing a bonus adventure the Friday evening before while out with my wife. She and I were supposed to be on a romantic date. We did not count on a cameo by a premier performer. I was to be well-compensated for my diverted attention. Continue reading →
Sung in Italian with projected supertitles in English. Performed in 2 “acts” with 1 intermission.
Review by Kitty Drexel
(Boston) The vocals of BLO’s Rigoletto are simply stunning. In particular, Michael Mayes as the title character and Nadine Sierra (Gilda) were a treasure to hear and watch. Audrey Babcock (Maddalena) smolders! This vocals of the male chorus were powerful but difficult to watch. It appears that they can only emote when given specific direction to do so. The sumptuous costumes by Victoria Tzykun mostly made up for this. Conductor Christopher Franklin leads his orchestra with admirable humility and confidence. His reverence for Verdi is evident from his first step into the pit. Continue reading →