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As a new school year begins, we reflect on a summer of singing with youth and teachers across Boston. Through new and existing partnerships, BLO Teaching Artists immerse students and teachers into the world of creating an opera.
Figaro, Figaro, Fi-ga-ro! It may be impossible to talk about revolutions and opera without circling back to that iconic, endearing, clever barber, Figaro—an archetypal character who has transcended genres, charmed generations, and helped inspire a revolution. The Figaro that we opera-fans know and love was drawn from the trilogy of plays by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais: The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, and The Guilty Mother. Barber was initially conceived as a comedic opera but was rejected, so Beaumarchais revised it as a play and it premiered in 1775. He followed its success with the even more provocative Marriage of Figaro,which shocked the king so much in its first private royal readings that it did not officially premiere until 1784. After that, Figaro became France’s single biggest theatrical success of the 18th
The internationally acclaimed contralto, Marian Anderson, was thrust into the public spotlight after a controversial rejection from one of the nation’s prominent concert houses. The incident garnered the attention of the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, and spiraled into a must-see event on Easter Sunday in 1939, which sparked further action in the Civil Rights movement, and eventually, Anderson's landmark debut as the first black singer at the Metropolitan Opera.