Mar 17

Awareness is Key: RIGOLETTO

Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Michael Mayes as Rigoletto and Nadine Sierra as Gilda; Photo by Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
Directed by Tomer Zvulun
Conducted by Christopher Franklin

March 14 – 23, 2014
Shubert Theatre
Boston, MA
BLO on Facebook

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

Nov 26

Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here: LIZZIE BORDEN

http://blo.org/wp-content/gallery/lizzie-production-shots/DSC2460.JPG

Photo Credit: Eric Antoniou for Boston Lyric Opera © 2013. It’s all downhill from here.

Presented by Boston Lyric Opera
Music by Jack Beeson
Libretto by Kenward Elmslie
Based on a scenario by Richard Plant
Realized by Todd Bashore (orchestration) and John Conklin (dramaturgy)
Conducted by David Angus
Stage directed by Christopher Alden

November 20 – 24, 2013
Opera Annex: The Castle at Park Plaza
Boston, MA
BLO on Facebook

Sung in English with projected text (because the diction of the vocalists is excellent but the space eats sound like Cookie Monster eats a baker’s dozen).

(Boston) This is not an opera hoping to experience the heavenly glories of the human voice through song. Lizzie Borden is an impressive piece of theatre that will shock the pants off of audience members expecting traditional operatic fare. Beeson’s opera is beast heavy with repressed sexuality, anger and desperation. Although it was not an enjoyable production per se, the artists involved created a brilliant evening of artful music. Continue reading

Nov 13

BLO Opera Annex: “Lizzie Borden”


BOSTON LYRIC OPERA continues the 2013-14 season with its Opera Annex production of Jack Beeson’s riveting masterwork:

LIZZIE BORDEN

Sung in English with projected text
Based on a Scenario by Richard Plant
Composed by Jack Beeson
Libretto by Kenward Elmslie
Realized by Todd Bashore (orchestration) and John Conklin (dramaturgy)
Stage Directed by Christopher Alden
Conducted by David Angus

 

 

FOUR PERFORMANCES ONLY: November 20, 22, 23, 24, 2013
The Castle At Park Plaza
130 Columbus Avenue
Boston, MA 02116
The BLO on Facebook

BOSTON (November 6, 2013)—Boston Lyric Opera (BLO) continues its 2013-14 season with a production of Jack Beeson’s operatic masterpiece, Lizzie Borden, for BLO’s Opera Annex series, in a world premiere chamber version in seven scenes, specially commissioned by BLO and directed by the acclaimed Christopher Alden. Running four performances only, November 20-24, Beeson’s riveting opera captures the dramatic, claustrophobic family portrait based on the sensational Fall River, Massachusetts axe murders that gripped the nation in 1892.

Lizzie Andrew Borden was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts, but here has been controversy ever since about her guilt or innocence. In their opera, composer Jack Beeson and librettist Kenward Elmslie leave no doubt about her murderous culpability, while changing a few details of the well-known story for theatrical reasons. An older sister, Emma, becomes a younger sister, Margret. A suitor for Margret is created, the sea captain Jason McFarlane, and a psychologically convincing backstory for the stepmother, Abbie (her subservient and deeply resented role as a servant-nurse to the dying first Mrs. Borden, Lizzie’s mother) is developed. The Beeson piece was first performed in 1965 as a three act opera.

 

Nov 03

A Night At The Opera (a primer)

Boston Lyric Opera 2010/2012 Season. Puccini's Tosca. Floria Tosca (soprano Jill Gardner) makes a drastic decision to protect herself and her love from Baron Scarpia (bass-baritone Bradley Garvin). Photo by Jeffrey Dunn for Boston Lyric Opera © 2010.

Feature by Gillian Daniels, Interview with Julie House of the Boston Lyric Opera by Becca Kidwell

Opera remains one of the most intimidating arts of western culture.  It’s a beautiful art, though, one where grand epics and tragedies are played out on stage and human stories are set to songs greater and better than the daily drudge of reality.

Yet much more widely embraced among North American theatergoers is the musical, opera that has evolved in the past hundred years with more speaking parts and often more contemporary settings.  Musicals aren’t always lighter fair, but they are seen as more accessible than opera. Continue reading

Mar 05

What’s Happening at the Boston Lyric Opera: Agrippina

(copy of press release–working on article about opera, but it will not be ready by the time their show starts & I want you to have the information)

Oh, the depravity!
Boston Lyric Opera goes Baroque with elegant, insidious Agrippina

Caroline Worra stars in satire of the fall of the Roman Empire, opening March 11

Production features three countertenors: Anthony Roth Costanzo,
David Trudgen and José Alvarez

WHAT: Witness the ultimate stage mother have a major melt-down in one of opera’s most intense “mad scenes,” as she plots to make her son Nero Emperor of Rome in BLO’s production of Handel’s fast-paced Agrippina. This light and frothy opera with insidious undertones is based in historical fact, weaving the twisted tale of a mother’s desperate scheme to remove her husband from the throne and elevate her spoiled teenage son…creating a complicated intrigue of shifting alliances and turning the Imperial court into a nest of elegant vipers.

This classical yet modern production, created by Glimmerglass and New York City Opera, features exciting debuts and is the third in BLO’s 2010-2011 Season; it will be presented at the Citi Performing Arts CenterSM Shubert Theatre. Three countertenors, a five-piece continuo group and an elevated orchestra pit built specifically for the production will immerse the audience in a uniquely Baroque experience. Continue reading