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From a World Premiere to student-created operas, here are some of our favorite moments from throughout 2018... JANUARY: Boston Lyric Opera started the year off presenting our Signature Series: Opera Promenade concert at the MFA, pairing songs with MFA artwork. FEBRUARY: BLO Artists and Teaching Artists visited 23 schools, libraries and community organizations, engaging elementary students through our Artist Classroom Visits in the story-telling art form of opera through Hansel and Gretel, in preparation for our Create Your Own Opera Partnership Program. MARCH: Audiences flocked to BLO's new production of The Threepenny Opera, starring Kelly Kaduce, Christopher Burchett, and James Maddalena, directed by James Darrah in his BLO debut! APRIL: We celebrated Leonard Bernstein's 100th birthday with a program of highlights from throughout his storied career, accompanied by lectures and panels, across greater Boston....
BLO welcomed dozens of undergraduate and graduate students to the Final Dress Rehearsal of Schoenberg in Hollywood, the World Premiere opera composed by Tod Machover, with libretto by Simon Robson based on a scenario by Braham Murray. A unique fusion of opera, theater, film, and electronics, this opera illuminates the iconic 20th-century composer Arnold Schoenberg, the inventor of the twelve tone method of composition, at a crossroads in his life: having escaped the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany, Schoenberg arrives in 1930s Hollywood and is offered the opportunity to compose for films. Can he find a way to reconcile reflection with action, and tradition with revolution? What is the meaning of art in the wake of atrocity? And ultimately, who is Arnold Schoenberg?
“Can a man know the truth and tell it to the greatest number and still be misunderstood? Can one man be of the many and still be known?” The title of Tod Machover’s new opera, Schoenberg in Hollywood, will likely be reframed as a question by many audience members, e.g. “Schoenberg in Hollywood?” What could the inventor—or perpetrator, depending on your perspective—of the musical revolutions of atonality and twelve-tone music, the composer whose works the philosopher Theodor Adorno described as severing the last connection to the listener, what could such a figure possibly have to do with Hollywood? The answers to this question that the opera poses can tell us a lot about Schoenberg, but they also provide interesting insights into how Machover has positioned himself in relationship to his famous forebear as well as the challenge of communicating complex ideas.